The Decline of the American Empire (Le Declin de Lâ€™Empire Americain)
Director: Denys Arcand
Screenwriters: Denys Arcand
â€śThe frenetic desire for individual happiness in our society may well be historically linked to the decline of the American empire that we are now beginning to witness.â€ť Using this idea as a starting point, Denys Arcand mercilessly examines the mores of a group of Quebec intellectuals with salacious insight and ironic distance. At once deeply satiric, immensely amusing and yet unsettling in its vision, this film strips bare the obsessions of a group of history professors and their wives. Bored and cynical, they display an uncommon reoccupation with sex. As the men prepare a gourmet supper in a lush country house, and the women work out in a fitness club, talk turns to their sexual adventures. References to Spengler and Gibbons, Wittgenstein and Marx mingle with conversations about Masters and Johnson, Germaine Greer, and the g-spot. Affairs are recounted with with wit and pain when the two sexes are apart, but when husbands and wives meet for dinner, a new tome is imparted to the day.
Winner of the Criticâ€™s Prize at the Cannes festival, The Decline of the American Empire is a landmark film for Canadian cinema. Boasting a superior script, wonderful ensemble playing and a keen cinematic sense, Arcandâ€™s film is above all an intelligent rumination on where we find ourselves as a society.
- Dramatic Feature
- 1987, Sundance Film Festival
- Canada, 95 min.