12 May 2007

Man Bites Dog

The guys who made this try to tell you it's about the nature of documentary filmmaking, but that's little more than a pretentious way of defending why their movie is a mockumentary about a film crew following a serial killer. "No...you see, it's all self-reflexive. " What a bunch of bullshit.

Man Bites Dog tricks you into thinking it's nothing but back and forth cuts between a maniac spouting his own self-important moral philosophy and his nonsense-free murders of the innocent, but as soon as our main character decides to save a bullet by giving an lonely old woman a heart attack you realize you're watching something too disturbing to be part of the Criterion Collection (which it is). Not long after that you'll get to this sequence where the stinking drunk killer and his equally sodden film crew walk in on an intertwined couple and proceed to abuse and dismember the both of 'em. That scene's probably the crux of the argument that this flick is about the sheer impossibilty of the documentarian's role as a neutral observer, but, Jesus, go watch something like Real Life if you want to stay to that idea without coming away feeling like you sentenced yourself to eternal damnation.

BenoƮt Poelvoorde sure does a good job, though.

No comments: