Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
Borgman is the central character in Alex van Warmerdam’s dark, malevolent fable. Is he a dream or a demon, a twisted allegory or an all-too-real embodiment of our fears? Borgman is a sinister arrival in the sealed-off streets of modern suburbia. His presence unleashes a crowing gallery of distortion around the careful façade constructed by an arrogant, comfortable couple, their three children and nanny.
Twenty-second watch of March around the World: Netherlands. And so this challenge, although officially closed by now, brings me to my home country. I haven’t seen a Dutch film since 2010 - the absolute must-watch recommendation to all of you: New Kids Turbo. The advertisement of Borgman - “what if Dogtooth had been directed by Michael Haneke?" - is rather enticing though, so that was something to check out. My good grief, I had no idea such a brilliant piece of cinema could come from my country. First scene? Took me by surprise. The titular antagonist Borgman is chased out of his underground burrow (a common style of living here in the Netherlands) to an high-class residential area where he starts ringing doors, asking the inhabitants whether he could have a bath in their house. What happens next is indescribable, but stellar. I mean, how satisfying is this?
Van Warmerdam is my favourite Dutch director. He makes films that are quintessentially Dutch in their tone and touches upon Dutch sensibilities with confounding and intriguing absurdism.
Borgman is a step away from that in so far that this is a more universally themed film, but it is still imbued in that trademark van Warmerdam style. It is a film that is very difficult to grasp and I feel attempting to make sense of it is missing the point. This is a visually striking mood piece, focused more on conveying a sensation rather than recounting a story.
Borgman is about evil. Evil we, adults, call upon ourselves, invite into our homes, driving our self centred lives. As heavy as this…
Borgman is a very playful, intriguing and exciting piece of film from the Dutch veteran Alex van Warmerdam (starring in a smaller role as well, as he usually does).
Borgman flings us into the action with a riveting chase between a priest and his lackeys and a group of men hiding underneath the forest soil.
One of these men turn out to be Camiel Borgman.
After Borgman warns his compatriots of the impending danger, himself having barely managed to escape, he enters a fashionable slice of suburbia and tests the inhabitants' will to let an unknown, unkempt man have a bath.
After instigating an altercation with the man of one of the houses, he manages to instill a bit of…
“And they descended upon the earth to strengthen their ranks.”
With the utmost confidence and command, Alex van Warmerdam's Borgman opening scene sunk it's hooks in deep and refused to let me go for the remainder of it's running time. A Priest and a lynch mob of sorts hunt down a nest of (literal) underground vagrants and send them scampering for safety out of the woods and into palatial suburbia, and from this dizzying and disorienting (and one of the most exhilarating cinematic moments I have experience of late) set-piece we are flung into the world of the sly and seductive Camiel Borgman.
A film that would seemingly fall into the expanding 'home invasion' subgenre of cinema, Borgman eschews categorization…
I don't want to say too much about Borgman if you're going to watch it, because it's the strange kind of film that's best to go into somewhat cold. I will say though that it's a deeply dark and downright unpleasant work of cinema filled to the brim with enormously flawed and unstable characters that angered me to my very core. Of course, this was the director's intention.
One might think the primary theme of this film is betrayal, but I would argue that the amount of manipulation that this film contains - manipulation sometimes bordering on the point of mind control - overshadows the betrayal and sort of renders it void. There were times when I felt certain characters…
“And they descended upon the earth to strengthen their ranks,” reads the Biblical quote at the start of beginning of the film. Along with only one or two other clues that possibly link together, this quietly unnerving Palme d'Or nominee from Alex van Warmerdam is a tale without true definition. A dark comedic and surreal look at evil that asks you to decide who is more deserving of their crimes.
Two men arrive at the residence of their local priest, weapons in hand and armed with intent. No words are spoken as the priest joins their charge into the local forest axe held firmly in his hand. They know exactly where they are heading, stopping in an area where they…
I love this movie, a modern depiction of some classic fairy tales in a dark realistic way.
Interesting, but so fucked up, so i can't tell if i liked it or not.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
What the what...? o_0 Borgman is one of the most effed up things I've ever watched. It's fascinating. Endlessly confusing. But fascinating.
It grabbed me right out the gate. A silent priest and two armed cronies flush out three men sleeping in covered holes in a Dutch forest floor. (Why? How did the priest know they were there?) The chief fugitive, the eponymous Borgman, starts knocking on posh suburban doors asking if he can take a bath. (Why does he think this will work?) Somehow he gets a woman, Marina, to hide him in her guesthouse without her husband knowing, and he begins blandly wreaking havoc on the lives of his host family. (Is he a demon of some kind?…
Borgman, la ganadora en Sitges hace un par de años, es una tocada de narices en toda regla. Malsana y, al mismo tiempo, rechazando explicar el misterio de sus personajes y su (nuestro) padecimiento. Es una de esas películas que piden a gritos una interpretación alegórica, aunque es tal la indefinición (o la opacidad), que uno no sabe bien de qué. Es el tipo de mindfuck que podría hacer Buñuel si viviera, pero incluso éste hacia algo más que meterse con la burguesía. ¿Es posible que haya alguna referencia política que se me escape?. Da lo mismo, nunca dejó de interesarme. Y si a uno le gustó Canino no veo por qué no ésta, aunque aquella tenía un aspecto de comedia negra muy disfrutable y aquí simplemente se trata de dejarse inundar por la desazón sin mayor propósito, que tampoco es mal fin, siendo que lo consigue...el horror sin explicación no es tan fácil de conseguir.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
¿Vampiros, ángeles, demonios, extraterrestres, la clase obrera, el mal?
Intentar definir qué es "Borgman" es como tirar de las cintas de una piñata y que nunca caiga nada.
This is terrific, obtuse, circuitous, a truly exciting exploration of the subtlety of evil (and while, of course, the 21st century presents evil in its utterly banalized capacity, there's something to be said here when the banality of evil is turned into a sort of enigma).
Above all, this is a film about seduction: the way evil seduces individuals. It is also about desire, and about desire unfulfilled. For a film about both seduction & desire one would assume that sexuality would be used, at some point or another, as and end point, but Borgman subverts this: sexuality is never an end point. Our female protagonist becomes almost hypnotized by our titular character, she is obsessed with sexual desire for him.…
The fuck was that?
Estoy claramente en el bando del NO.
La escena inicial y el planteamiento prometen, las primeras acciones de Borgman, las incognitas... todo estimulante hasta que ves que se reduce a un repetición de acciones con poco sentido e incognitas que ni se intentan resolver. Lo más destacable el sentido del humor. Lo peor, el final.
I love this film, great actors & plot, thrilling and extraordinary!
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…
Now complete: The Dissolve's 2014 Movies To See Checklist