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.
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.
I haven't seen a movie as emotionally disturbing as this since I saw The Seventh Continent by Michael Haneke. That movie took days for me to not think about constantly. To not react to with my whole body. Dogtooth on the other hand have a lighter tone to it. It gets quite tragic-comical, and that felt as a good thing, not really wanting another Seventh Continent-experience.
Just as in The Seventh Continent we also have a family in Dogtooth with very monotone and controlled reactions. But the house which they live in, in which they're prisoners in, is like a pressure chamber. The distorted worldview presented to the children by their parents, have left them without basic references and basic…
Interesting.. and well executed, but cheap ending.. it could have been better. Didn't exploit its potential fully, was rather unsurprising overall. Still, what was there was done well.
Still as bizarre, arresting and enthralling as the first time I watched it.
I prefer "The Lobster," however, because it's warmer, a little more melancholic, and a little less detached. And funnier!
It builds on the work Lanthimos had already done here.
I'm not gonna lie, there were a few scenes in Dogtooth that were pretty messed up. However, it's hard to really feel that way when you never really care about the characters in the film at all. Dogtooth's minimalist, sterile style is very well executed, but it also makes the film a little bit of a bore to watch sometimes, and it feels like an experiment where the director tries to get a "that's fucked up" reaction from the audience.
However, I can't say that I wouldn't recommend this. It's based in a highly unique premise where the characters are fully immersed, and I can see why it's garnered so much praise from other people. A noble effort that only kinda hit the mark for me.
I was looking for a strange experience and I definitely got one.
Damn, that's one fucked up family!
While Dogtooth may be a miserable experience for most audiences, and it may not ultimately be that great of a film, it at least deserves credit because of how unique and original it is. Director Yorgos Lanthimos does a terrific job of setting up this creepy and disturbing world inside the characters' home. Everything in this film had to be meticulously designed so that this strange concept could become believable to the audience, and it certainly succeeded in creating a believable and haunting experience. I thought the brother and two sister actors all gave incredible performances. They were a big part of what made this film work really well at times.
The main issue I had with the film was…
Stranger disrupts the cocooned family but not in the academic mode of Teorema where the outsider sets off a chain of escalating, albeit symbolic behavioral discrepancies. Here the stranger is often just another episode in the uniquely controlled and observed universe that, depending on where you stand, still isn’t stringent enough: Lanthimos clouds the significance of certain aspects, viz. harmful games like “inhale the anesthesia” flirt with spurious eccentricity, while the outsider’s catalytic influence is often buried for long stretches, eschewing narrative momentum for intermittent fits of rebellion, viz. the first “lick me” encounter, despite its potential for disaster, doesn’t inspire the Eldest – it’s the Hollywood movies, which coupled with the father’s propensity to beat people with videos /…
Just as bizarre, provocative, profane, and hilarious as the last time I saw it.
I felt that this was too lacking in variety/monotonous but I can't say that's fair criticism because I would be ecstatic about this if its premise interested me more. I was afraid of watching this because it's just about the most uncomfortable/scary concept in the world and I was immediately in a vexatious state that lasted for the entire film. The presentation was interesting but mostly fell flat for me: I was happy to see an out of focus shot and disappointed when someone steps into focus and reveals that that is why the shot is that way, the few times that there are camera movement are surprising but ultimately feel like they're on the nose without identifying what the…
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…