Sunday, January 13, 2008

C'est arrivé près de chez vous (Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and Benoît Poelvoorde, 1992) aka Man Bites Dog

Man Bites Dog: It Happened in Your Neighborhood (Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and Benoît Poelvoorde, 1992)
Rating: 8.5

A clever indictment of media detachment, audience obsession with violence, and how the media promotes such violence and interest in such. The film poses as a documentary as a film crew follows the brutality of a mass murderer who pontificates to the camera about architecture, music, poetry, cinema, painting, mother nature, homophobia and racism along the way. Both the filmmakers and the killer fuel each other as the killer gains a sense of power and almost god-like status in front of the camera, while he finances the film with the money he steals from his victims and even asks the crew to participate in the mayhem. The crew participates by helping Ben dispose of the victims bodies and even joining in a gang rape in one instance. The film also employs Brechtian techniques reminding us we are watching a film being made as often see the crew members. In one scene the killer urges the cameraman to zoom in and find the hiding victim, and in another great sequence the sound man is shot, resulting in brief silence before someone picks up the equipment and replaces him. Although the film is disturbing it is also quite hilarious, much like Haneke's Funny Games. The concept works brilliantly for a group of young filmmakers without any money and there is very obvious influence from the new wave filmmakers and most especially Godard. The only valid complaint from critics I slightly agree with is that the film is a bit one note.

Pas de C4 pour Daniel Daniel (1987) aka No C4 for Daniel-Daniel

Rating: 4.5

short film by same filmmakers

No comments: