Produced, directed, shot, and edited by Brian De Palma, Robert Fiore, and Bruce Rubin, Dionysus in '69 documents a landmark late-'60s experimental-theater work. Adapted by theater director Richard Schechner and the Performance Group as an eroticized and politicized version of Euripides' The Bacchae, Dionysus in '69's "total theater" style aimed to redefine the relationship between the theater experience and "real life," with the audience invited to participate in as well as watch the play. Merging two live performances of the play at New York's Performing Garage, the black-and-white film's split-screen editing also became a precursor to De Palma's subsequent 1970s feature films. Made while he was finishing Hi Mom! (1970), the sequel to his theatrical breakthrough Greetings (1968), Dionysus in '69 was De Palma's last independent film during his late-'60s stint in the cutting edge, no-budget New York film scene, as well as a record of the period's avant-garde art. With this pedigree, Dionysus in '69 is clearly not for all tastes.
by Lucia Bozzola synopsis