Saturday, January 23, 2010

Man Bites Dog (1992)

Provacative, spellbinding French film about a documentary crew following around a serial killer. The killer, Benoit, is a charming son of a bitch, and is the primary aspect of the film that supersedes its avant garde subject matter. He jokes and basks in the "joie de vivre" as he murders completely innocent people in the most inhumane ways you can imagine. The documentary crew is obviously smitten with the man, and accepts his flagrant charm as an excuse for his horrific deeds. The film itself is black and white and, presumably, 16mm, and it truly feels like a documentary. Stylistically, this feels like a French response to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Whereas that film went to great lengths to depict the truest possible monster of his character, this film sees the humor of him; the man that sustains himself through the death of others, including whole families, and yet treasures his own loved ones. I don't want to talk about the film any more. This is a film that deserves to be experienced by everyone, especially today, for it is now more relevant than ever.

Highly Recommended. This is a thoroughly engrossing, intelligent, and powerful film that says much about humanity, filmmaking, and the fragility of life. Must-see.

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