Sunday, September 23, 2007

Flandres by Bruno Dumont

The latest film by Bruno Dumont, the Grand Prix winner at Cannes, is a minimalistic vision of an almost intangibly small evolutionary step of one man.

The film gives a new meaning to the term "Animal Farm".

This is, like Michael Haneke's cinema, a challenge to the existing codes of media and filmmaking. Mainstream cinema portrays love and war in an idealized form, with an implicit goal to entertain. Both Haneke and Dumont shock the viewer into seeing things that are normally not seen on film. When people complain that violence and sex in films desensitize or "corrupt" the spectators, they fail to realize that most films present, what Haneke calls very eloquently, 24 lies per second.

When violence is of a form which makes us clap and cheer, is it really violence? Or is it some form of perverse entertainment.

Real violence leaves one reeling and scared and shocked. It never entertains or titilates.

This film begins in the inane life of the farms of the Flanders town with an exposition of lives bereft of any feeling or thought.

It then proceeds to a clinical examination of what these farm animals are capable of in the midst of a desert war, and what happens to a lonely heart in which there is no hope of love or joy.

It ends with the protagonist realizing just a little bit of his humanity, but which is tragic in its belatedness. It is all the more tragic when one sees that it needs war to bring a man to at least some sense of his beastliness.

Recommendation: Very Good.

1 comment:

comfortably numb said...

Hi Harmanjit,

First time on your blog. Should say you are a great reviewer and have an eclectic taste. Can you guide me where can I lay hands on the movie '29 palms' reviewed by you earlier.