Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Gonna Walk (Out) Like a Man

I did something last night that I have never done before. I walked out of a movie. I just picked up my stuff and left. I always try and stick with movies when I see them at the cinema, no matter how bad they are, but this experience was just too painful. Bare in mind, however, that I was crook as a dog and that I didn't even feel like going to the screening anyway, but if the film were great then it probably would have made my illness to the back of my mind. Alas, I was sitting there wanting to tear my hair out because of the drivel on screen and all along thinking I just wanted to start coughing. Not a good mix.

The film was one of my Melbourne International Film Festival screenings. It was the Greek drama Dogtooth. A film that sounded so interesting and had won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes earlier this year. Sounds promising, doesn't it? The film, however, was, for this viewer, disastrous. Taking all the cliches of pretentious art films and spinning them around in a blender. Of course I don't know what any of this claptrap means because the director, Giorgos Lanthimos, was being deliberately "vague" and "ambiguous" as so many pretentious people are want to be. This brief comment from someone at IMDb (it's positive if you can't tell) sums it up perfectly: "the metatextual reference to cinema as a 'literaly' [sic] and metaphorical weapon against rules and reiteration of theses and even dialogs [sic]" I know!

The moment I decided to leave the film was nothing particularly horrendous in itself, but when surrounded by everything else I had had enough. One scene I particularly didn't like involved a cat being brutally murdered and then having the family at the centre of the film get on all-fours and act like dogs. Yes, I don't know what it means either I was actually in the cinema! I don't know what happened in the final 40 minutes so I can't give you a proper review, but, to be perfectly honest with you, I don't care.

6 comments:

Paul Martin said...

Congratulations (on walking out). Until MIFF 3 years ago, I'd only walked out of a couple, and that year I walked out on 3. And that was only with a minipass! Life's too short to spend sitting in a cinema with a film that's not doing it for you, especially during a festival.

BTW, I've also been home sick the last few days with a fever, but getting better. I thought it was just MIFF-fatigue, but maybe there's a bug going around...

Glenn Dunks said...

It appears that a lot of people have been struck down in the last week, actually.

Paul Martin said...

Having now seen the film, I'm quite amused at how it affected you. As you know, I loved the film. I can understand why you (or others) didn't, but it didn't affect me like that at all. I found the cat death scene quite funny really, and the barking scene too.

The most brutal moment comes later, which you missed and I can tell that had you stayed, this would have freaked you out.

As I posted on Matt Ravier's overview of MIFF, you and I could be the David and Margaret of Melbourne film blogging: you gave the film 0 stars, me 5, hehe.

Glenn Dunks said...

Hah, we have been some some wildly divergent opinions of late, haven't we? This would've been a Dancer in the Dark scenario which I believe is the only true time the 5/0 split has happened (MargPom was obviously the 5 and Dave the 0).

Paul Martin said...

OK, you can be David and I'll be Margaret. :)

Glenn Dunks said...

I think earrings suit me more.