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HEUTE NACHT ODER NIE (TONIGHT OR NEVER), 1972

"A bizarrely fascinating first feature by a young Swiss director Daniel Schmid...
It's more than just bitterly tounge-in-cheek in its demolition of a life lived in clichés. It's a very special pic requiring both patience and effort for ultimate full enjoyment."
Variety

 
Production: Matthias Brunner
Director: Daniel Schmid
Screenplay: Daniel Schmid
Photography: Renato Berta
Sound: Jeti Grigoni
Editing: lla von Hasperg
Cast: Ingrid Caven, Voli Geiler, Peter Chatel, lgor Josza, Peter Kern, Anna Fadda, Harry Bär, Peter-Christian Bener, Irene Olgiati, Béatrice Stoll, Rosy-Rosy.
 
 
Schmid's satire on 19th-century class relations is also a thinly veiled commentary on the failure of the 1968 political revolution. Once a year, an aristocratic Austrian family holds a traditional feast at which masters and servants trade places. A troupe of actors (including cult cabaret artist Ingrid Caven) are hired to entertain the guests, performing fragments from the "cultural scrap heap": GONE WITH THE WIND, Madame Bovary, Tennessee Williams, Swan Lake. The decadent proceedings take on a dangerous edge when the actors incite the servants to revolt against their masters-but is the Revolution also part of the act? This caustic political statement, attacked by the Left when the film was released, seems more prescient today in an age of corporate and media co-optation. In a film, that perhaps links 'RULES OF THE GAME' (Renoir) with 'VIRIDIANA' (Buñnel), Schmid intoduces his hallmark melange of operetta and pop music.