Cemetery Man – 2nd Day of Urban Dionysia

The Διονύσια τὰ ἀστικά ‘Urban Dionysia’, are the last Dionysian celebrations of the Hellenic lunar calendar. They close the yearly events in boreal spring – austral fall – with other rituals, dances and performances. Each day of Dionysia, I introduce in a few words, a piece of performance art from anyone in the world, at any moment of history, and that I want to share. This includes: theatre, opera, dance, body art, music video and cinema.

The second work I introduce for these Dionysia is a ‘horror comedy’ as it used to be presented. Italian director Michele Soavi made 【Dellamorte Dellamore】 (English title ‘Cemetery Man’) a baroque and fantastic movie in which his hero brings us in a world where boundaries between the dead and the living, between love and absurdity, and between society and the individual, are completely ravaged. The Italian title originally means ‘of death and of love’ for a movie where the identity of the main character is questioned until the end. His phlegmatic domination on the dead and the living, and the nonchalant way he acts and reacts to violence, can’t hide the social and affective impotence he tries to conceal when facing the world. A world from which he finally can’t escape, as if he was locked up inside himself. I usually do not recommend horror fiction, but this one has a symbolic superiority over many of its kind. Aren’t we all a part of Francesco Dellamorte? Finally, although most music themes are made by Manuel de Sica, the peak of absurdity while drama and horror intermingle with comedy, is when we hear Sezen Aksu’s song ‘Hadi Bakalım’ (Turkish for: ‘Come on, let’s see’) asking a tragic question in the most ‘pop’ and funny way.

Warning: be aware that some of this movie’s scenes contain graphic violence. Make sure you are educated enough to understand the allegorical nature of the scenario.

Here is the 【list of previous posts】 for the Urban Dionysia.

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