Movies that are slightly off.
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.
Part of Hoop-Tober
“What should we call this game?” “I don’t know.”
As Tolstoy observed, each happy family is alike, while each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Which is simply another way of saying that all families are different, since any group of people forcibly assembled is bound to be visited by some unhappiness. Power dynamics, personality conflict, even random chance bring with them discord and disharmony. How to weather the storm—that is the question.
It’s a question parents must ask themselves daily. The parental mandate to serve and protect, with its disturbing authoritarian overtones, is fraught with difficulty. One must shield her children from harm while also preparing them to face that harm as self-sufficient adults.…
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…
Seventeenth watch of March around the World: Greece. Audiences have been granted numerous films depicting bad forms of parenting, but Lanthumos’ entry Dogtooth is a true exercise in extending the concept’s boundaries, doing so into deeply disturbing, yet somewhat hilarious terrain: ”the cat is the most feared animal there is!" Communicating the rules of his horror comedy fantasy game to the viewer is done through characters’ actions and sharp depiction thereof; indirect delineation through dialogue is kept to an absolute minimum. It turns the whole episode into a worrying voyeuristic experience. Satisfying on the one hand, but as perverse as the examination on screen itself on the other. In the end, however, the goal justifies its means for Dogtooth is so mesmerising that one can impossibly shut his eyes away, wondering what bizarre event they might miss if they do. Absolutely unforgettable, but leaving the ultimate question - why? - unanswered does stain its overall execution slightly.
'Canino', en griego 'Kynodontas': Plasmación del horror y la asfixia en tempo adagio y tonos pastel. Parábola sobre los mecanismos de control social. Declaración de amor al cine y a la vida (que, como dijo el doctor Alan Grant, siempre "se abre camino"). Peliculón.
Un ejemplo: "Pongo la máxima puntuación a 'Canino' porque me ha impactado profundamente"
There isn't many scenes where you get to see dog teeth, but a very cringe-worthy one featuring human ones.
Film #13 of my May 2016 Scavenger Hunt
Task #30 - A film selected from The Official Max Oxley Top 100™
What this movie has got going for it more than anything else is that it is interesting. I mean really, really interesting. Ill say that ive had thoughts like the ones projected in the movie before. How moldable a child is, if it is devoid of any other form of cultural output than what you feed it. The thing i'm really wondering the most about is what the parents in this particular setting get out of it.
They are in breach of some basic human rights here, but they arent really being super-evil. They could have gone full Joseph…
This was weird, like all out uncomfortable weird. And this had one of the things i love most about film; just telling a jaw dropping story i couldnt have imagined in my wildest thoughts.
That was...something. Dogtooth is one of those rare movies that is hard to make comparisons from it to any other movie I've seen. If I was to describe the basic premise of the film it would be something along the lines of, "Imagine a world in which two figures completely control all access their people get to information. How different would this culture be from your own? What words and thoughts could the people be deceived into thinking are real or fake." However, even this description doesn't adequately describe Dogtooth. Dogtooth has many underlying themes, but the basic plot is about two parents who control all the information that their children receive and shelter them from the outside world. So…
A thought-provoking premise and the filmmakers cleverly don't hand you all the answers. Can we live a meaningful life if we only know a small fragment of the world and the rest is off limits? The motivation of the parents is interesting. What do they have to gain from keeping their grown children in captivity? Do they love the kids so much that they can’t let them go? Has the world become so dangerous that they want to protect them from external threats? There have been horrific cases with Natascha Kampusch and Elisabeth Fritzl, although the parents in Dogtooth didn’t seem evil, but just overly protective. The enclosed house reminded me of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden,…
One of the strangest, f***ed up films I have ever seen, and I loved every second of it. There is absolutely no way to describe this idiosyncrasy in clear genre terms. The closest it comes to is a dark comedy not really searching for laughs. Though the "brainwashed" and closed off teens are robotic, the performances fit the film absolutely perfectly and I would not change a thing about them. I could not stop laughing and smiling the entire length of the film, from the opening sequence in the bathroom to the closing frame on the trunk of the car. Though many believe the film tries to make a statement about home schooling or child discipline, I took the film at face value.
The last 20 mins plays really powerfully, and much of that is due to the hour of set up that precedes it, but I can't shake the feeling that the fallout of the ending should take up more of the running time than the meandering act one.
May Scavenger Hunt | Film #3, Task #30
A film selected from The Official Max Oxley Top 100™
As I'm trying to combine my scavenger hunts with an effort to watch 80 films from 80 different countries (in 2016), I welcomed this Greek film on my list. I had no idea what I was going to see.
The film is about two overprotective parents who keep their three teenaged children in their house, locked away from the outside world. To avoid any bad influences, the children can not watch television and are told lies about the outside world to make them afraid to leave (a bit similar to the Truman Show). The result of all the lies and seclusion…
I don't know what that was about. But it was weird. The unanswered questions make me frustrated, but I also kind of like the feeling. We shall meet again Mr. Lanthimos.
(Working on organizing it by similar aesthetic.)