Tuesday, February 15, 2011

my brief thoughts on.... 'Kynodontas aka Dogtooth'

in all my years as a film lover and film student, i can't say that i remember ever seeing a Greek film before.... but thanks to a tip from a friend, this film was recommended to me.... and as of last night, i am can no longer say i've never seen a Greek film before.... if this film is any indication of what the Greek cinema is like, i think i'd like to learn more about what's out there.... granted, this film was strange and sometimes hard to follow, but it was still impossible to stop watching.... the director, Yorgos Lanthimos, has such a solid vision.... it just screams at you from the screen.... and if you ever wanted originallity from a screenplay, this has it in spades.... i'm still processing what i saw and i think it might take a repeated viewing to really absorb it all, thank goodness it's available OnDemand right now.... now before you run out and throw this in your queue, understand that this film is the 'deep end of the pool'.... it takes an open mind to view it.... i can't say that you'll like it, even if you're a well schooled film major.... it's something different that takes a willingness to think outside the box....

as far as the story goes.... i don't know that i can encapsulate exactly what happened.... as i see it, the story revolves around a family that lives behind a huge fence in their own little world.... the only ones who ever leave are the parents.... the three, possibly adult, children have lived there their whole lives and know about the world only from what their parents have tought them.... and the two parents control the information in such a way that the kids see things exactly how the parents want them to see it.... they even created their own language that replaces well known words with other well known words, like a zombie is a tiny yellow flower.... (you just have to see it to understand).... there is only one outsider ever brought into the home and she's basically brought in as a sex partner for the eldest son.... things begin to fall apart after the outsider starts bringing in things from the outside world.... the rest has to be seen to be believed.... (actually, the whole film is like that)
i can only hope that people who watch this can see beyond the absurdity of it all and find the art.... i can honestly say that i don't know what the message of this film is exactly, but i really enjoyed trying to figure it out.... i also am looking forward to see what else the Greek have to offer.... this film is 100% original.... i've seen dysfunctional family films, but none quite like this one.... and in a sea of copycat films, re-imaging an re-boots, it's refreshing to see something new.... even if it's hard to understand and challenging to watch.... i think one of the strongest aspects of this film is the actors.... they commit themselves to this film with all their hearts and sell it as reality.... you loose yourself in their world for the duration of the film.... i am so thankful that i took a risk on an unknown quantity, as it paid off in a big way....

i gave it 4 out of 5 stars and suggest you seriously consider watching it, but keep an open mind and watch it all the way through.... i can't promise that it'll make anymore sense by the end, in fact you'll probably be even more confused.... but the journey is the most important thing.... it's one you can only take once, so pack a lunch.

if you like this.... well.... i can't recommend anything else quite like it.... perhaps a stage play by Eugene Ionesco....?

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