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Directors MORE DIRECTORS CHECKLIST SERIES - Volume #261 - The Films Of BRUNO DUMONT

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Brook K, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Brook K

    Brook K Well-Known Member

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    Rate 'em, Rank 'em, Review 'em, whatever

    Volume #261 - Bruno Dumont

    Twentynine Palms (2003)
    Humanité, L' (1999)
    ... aka Humanité (USA)
    The Life of Jesus (1997)
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Well-Known Member

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    This critically acclaimed French director has racked up festival awards with his films that depict modern life in terms of both isolation and transcendence. His films also display explicit sex but filmed in such a banal way that these scenes could hardly be described as erotic and seem to be getting at some darker aspect of human behavior.

    1. The Life Of Jesus - B+ (Neo-realist film set in a depressed backwater town, touching on gangs, racism and extreme cruelty, the film is incredibly bleak, but it is the moments of joy that provide the shocks and make this film worth seeking out)
    2. Flandres - B
    3. Humanité - B- (An emotionally stunted detective investigates the rape and murder of a young girl in this mystery that at turns engages and pushed the viewer away. The finale was more than I could bear, though perhaps embodying the true spirit of the title.)
    4. Twentynine Palms - C (Filmed in beautiful Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms area, this is a ponderous film about a bickering couple who experience tragedy mostly through the fault of their own actions. It displays a lack of understanding of the environment (in an interview Dumont said he found the desert terrifying) and is burdened with some stereotypical depictions of "American behavior".)

    Own: 0
     
  3. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Well-Known Member

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    I've only seen L'Humanite and Twentynine Palms, and the former is certainly the better movie, but the latter was somehow more, er, satisfying to me. My reaction is unusual, and I understand the viscerally negative response many viewers have for that film... but there's something so horribly compelling about it (at least for me).

    How to explain "Twentynine Palms"? It's not unlike "The Hills Have Eyes" as directed by Robert Bresson (try pitching that one!). Unlike Brook, I did find the desert locales to be frightening (not to mention the locals). And save one or two much too artfully posed tableaux, the visuals are astonishing, even breathtaking, and yet not at all flashy like the "travel postcard" cinematography that seems to infect too many movies.

    It's difficult to talk about this film without giving away all its surprises, so suffice to say that while I understood the motivations for certain events, at least in very abstract psychological terms, I didn't find those motivations to be particularly organic to the characters. Specifically (without being too specific), the male character's response to the pivotal plot event struck me as the response of a much different, less sophisticated person. Perhaps that's the point (that when push comes to shove, we all revert to our internal juvenile neanderthal). Still... it felt forced, false.
     
  4. Bill McA

    Bill McA Well-Known Member

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    Hadewijch (2009) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]Flandres(2006) [​IMG]
    Twentynine Palms (2003) [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    L'Humanité (1999) [​IMG] (Own the DVD)
    The Life of Jesus (1997) [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Seen 5
    Own 2

    Bruno Dumont is the 26th director in this series that I've seen/met in person
     
  5. SteveGon

    SteveGon Well-Known Member

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    Ain't seen any, though I've been meaning to see Humanite.
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    NHONS
     
  7. Bill McA

    Bill McA Well-Known Member

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    UPDATED:

    Flandres (2006) [​IMG]

    Seen 4
    Own 2
     
  8. Brook K

    Brook K Well-Known Member

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    Flandres - B
     
  9. Bill McA

    Bill McA Well-Known Member

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    UPDATED:

    Hadewijch (2009) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Seen 5
    Own 2
     

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