Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The cat is the most feared animal there is!
Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the uber-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission.
Dogtooth is disturbing. It creeps into your psyche and stays there for days. It plays like an absurdist comedy at first but quickly shows its true colours. It is a gripping, compelling, shocking and extremely sad story of three nameless nearly adult children who live in a world created exclusively by their parents.
By "nameless" I don't mean that we are never told their names; I mean they have no names. The implications of this are enormous (take a minute to think about how different your life would be if you did not have a name). In their particular environment, one in which discipline is fairly extreme, the children must be completely attuned to the parents whereabouts and commands at…
It's really hard to express the feelings I've experienced while watching Dogtooth. The story is simple: three young adults live isolated from the world, obeying the strange and distorted rules of their parents. But the film is much more than this.
The atmosphere makes you feel like you're part of the family. The shots, the lack of soundtrack, it's like a home movie, a home movie like the ones the kids watch. They don't know nothing of the world, they don't watch TV, they don't have a computer, they don't read books, they don't even see the packages' labels their father carefully throw away before coming home. And…
Whilst a little seen film, Castle of Purity, may share a very similar story (the filmmakers must have seen the film as it shares a few key scenes) Dogtooth is much more playful and subversive. The film has a very dark sense of humour and every time you laugh you feel guilty for doing so. The world that is created is ambiguous and full of wonderful details (if you didn't know the synopsis you could be a third of the way into the film without fully knowing what exactly is going on in the house) whilst the word play and the twisted games the innocent children play are compelling and deeply disconcerting. It is a shocking film but delivered in…
Performances : 7/10
Story : 7.5/10
Production : 7.4/10
Overall : 7.3/10
Well, uh...I mean...it was, you know...interesting? For a movie that had me yelling "That is SO fucked up!" at the screen every other scene, I was surprisingly happy with the full piece of work. All content aside, it was shot very well, apparently using only one lens the entire time. The scenery was beautiful and yet, knowing what we know as an audience, it was darker than most movies, despite being shot almost entirely in daylight.
As far as the story goes I'm still dwelling on the events that happened. This was some seriously, seriously fucked up stuff. I guess what makes it hit home the most is…
Through manipulation and absurdity, Dogtooth paints the picture of a Greek family with three secluded teenagers who are deceived by their parents into believing of a world that solely exists within the confinements of their perfectly trimmed hedges. Not only is this a practice in the existence of ideology, it’s also an ominous depiction of a world we fear most because it’s both terrifyingly absurd, and potentially genuine.
What didn't occur to me, was that I never stopped to ask myself the question… why? Why are the parents forcing this life of seclusion on their kids with the false promise of eventual enlightenment that will never come? Although at first glance it’s difficult to believe the sincerity director Giorgos Lanthimos…
This one is a tough review to write for me.
The movie had a very unique sense of style considering I knew WHAT exactly was going on and what they were trying to tell me, but I was equally confused as to WHY.
The message here seems to be pretty clear. In today's society, the world outside our homes is becoming more and more dangerous and unexplainable. This has caused this new generation of parents to be extra precautious when it comes to what they want their kid to be exposed to. The film exposes the dangers of home schooling and sheltering when its taken to a reclusive rather than open minded level. While the stunted emotional, mental, and sexual…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Older Daughter: Mom, what is a "cunt"?
Mother: Where did you learn that word?
Older Daughter: On a case on top of the VCR.
Mother: A "cunt" is a large lamp. Example: The "cunt" switched off and the room got all dark.
Dogtooth is a picture of infamous reputation. That's really the reasons for my not seeing it till now, but it's also the reason i decided to give it a shot, because after all the prohibited is desired. I went in fully aware of its fame, i knew this was known for being really f*cked up and quite a difficult watch, i knew this even better because once i caught one or two scenes of the picture when it…
Victorious in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, this challenging Greek drama about an unorthodox family unit is an absorbing and uncomfortable watch.
Lanthimos’ technique can’t be faulted; he’s in total command of the elegant visuals and elicits controlled performances from his cast.
A sense of unease is effortlessly created as no explanation is forthcoming for the strange goings-on..
brilliant, absurd and completely horrifying.
This film really makes me wonder whether if I would rather be something like a von Trier protagonist put out into the world and essentially punished (whether I have a "golden heart" or not) or if I'd rather be in Yorgos Lanthimos' perverse microcosm of a society in Dogtooth. I use that comparison because to me, allegorical readings aside, that was part of what emerged from the film, a sort of cautionary tale against shielding yourself from the world--obviously taken to the opposite extreme. Not sure that this is an accurate reading, or one that the director intended, because really the film functions as a sick joke--an extremely well-conceived and -executed one--a thought experiment, and perhaps even an exploration of…
A Review Haiku
The family that...
Stays. Plays. Works. Sleeps together?
Bad oral hygiene.
A Case of 'Benevolent' Authoritarian Childrearing
Dogtooth, my first foray into Greek cinema, is a peculiar film. A jet-black, darkly comic satire that is less concerned with making a political statement than satirising the concept of family ideals; two upper-middle class parents keep their three children in isolation from the world outside well into adulthood, enforcing strict rules and regulations on them typical of a dictatorship.
With films like this, I often ask myself, "Just what exactly is this person - in this case, director and co-writer Yorgos Lanthimos - trying to say to me?" It's a valid question. Though I just claimed the film wasn't necessarily trying to make a political statement, there are certain allegorical undertones that can be taken away from it, such…
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…