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Micro-Wave Cinema: A Feast Of Man (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

Caroline Golum's 2017 feature debut A Feast Of Man is ostensibly a campy comedy about horrible, rich people. It takes place within a reality that only works for characters with infinite access to money (suggesting a bit too much Wes Anderson influence). Unfortunately, in this story, the freedoms of bourgeois leisure are exploited only for class-consciousness-baiting and accidental. Golum has admitted that "It's a mean-spirited film."

The plot of A Feast Of Man is set in motion when a vaguely wealthy aristocrat named Gallagher (Laurence Bond), who loves pranks, mysteriously dies and leaves a video will asking his friends to eat his corpse if they want to receive his fortune. Instead of debating the ethics of ritualistic cannibalism, Gallagher's friends, each one an insufferable upper-cruster, just hang-out and have dimly lit flashbacks of times Gallagher flirted with them. The movie then dog-whistles the presumed exoticness of its premise with the knowledge of a Wikipedia page, before going on to admit that the whole idea is, as Gallagher says, "admittedly stupid." Apparently, Gallagher is/was devilishly charming, but it's hard to anything relatable in the film's cast of one-dimensional, stereotypical characters, is scant. Racist jokes are peppered throughout, and the borderline-offensive portrayal of a French woman—"Sacre Coeur!"—rides solely on her accent.

The performances here are stilted and overblown, but the cast seems to have been directed that way, to portray characters who all hate poor people, each other, and themselves. The pointless relationships and obvious plot holes are intentionally ambiguous, just begging to be analyzed, but themes of consequence are largely ignored for dad-joke level one-liners. For example: "I'm sure Gallagher didn't leave anything behind too… meaty." (Also for example: The title.) —Reid Kurkerewicz

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