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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delicate, beautiful, precise and disturbing
This film has received very mixed reviews. It is a slow-moving film that relies a lot on it's cinematography. The story seems to be quite simplistic. Ninety minutes of the film simply regard a troubled relationship between a young couple, Katia (Katerina Golubeva) and David (David Wissak). The sexual tension between them is all that really holds your interest in the film...
Published on 6 May 2006 by Wilf

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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really tests your patience
Essentially, nothing happens for well over an hour, bar some pointless sex, some very dull and repetitive music, and close ups of two very precious people sulking. The fact that there is 5 minutes of shocking violence at the end might have been effective if one cared a jot for the fates of the two main characters. Unfortunately the preceding hour and a quarter does...
Published on 30 Mar 2006


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delicate, beautiful, precise and disturbing, 6 May 2006
This film has received very mixed reviews. It is a slow-moving film that relies a lot on it's cinematography. The story seems to be quite simplistic. Ninety minutes of the film simply regard a troubled relationship between a young couple, Katia (Katerina Golubeva) and David (David Wissak). The sexual tension between them is all that really holds your interest in the film for these ninety minutes. There is then an immensely disturbing twist towards the end of the film, which I believe redeems the earlier ninety minutes and puts the tension between the two characters into perspective.

There are a number of beautifully composed shots throughout the film. One in particular, where Katia and David, both naked, climb onto a small rounded rock formation. After another passionate love-making session both fall asleep entangled within each other, with their white naked bodies glistening in the sun. The simple harmony between the flowing rock forms and the curvaceous figures of David and Katia really capture the essence of this human connection.

Dumont also uses sound cleverly, often to heighten the passion during many of the sex scenes. For example, there is one scene in which Katia and David make love in a swimming pool. The scene is shot from his perspective, as, like a tiger, he slowly and silently makes his way towards Katia. The sound of the scene, however, comes from Katia who is just gently rocking back and forth in the water with her back turned to David. This play with sound, questions are own perceptions within the scene, and creates an ambiguous curtain with regards to which one of them actually controls the relationship. Is silent and motionless Katia actually controlling David in this scene?

This is certainly one of those love or hate films. However, if you enjoy a film in which you have time to ponder over the questions that Dumont puts forward. Then this is a great film for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not For Everyone, 16 July 2007
Let me preface this by saying that I am not keenly familiar with the work of Bruno Dumont. I know he's experimental and he could care less about narrative or content guidelines and all that fancy indie cred...I get it, he is a guy who makes movies on his own terms. The problem with that is if one of your films gets some of the attention that Twentynine Palms has from the uninitiated, or those of us who are accustomed to more conventional movies, and you have a whole bunch of people pissing on your misunderstood work. I think of a conversation I had with a film student about Peter Greenaway's The Falls. They saw it and hated it, but unfortunately for them it was the only Greenaway film they had seen, so they sort of missed the point...actually, they didn't even get the context Greenaway was making his point in. I suspect that is what's happened here.

Twentynine Palms has a narrative and it is somewhat palpable to a mainstream audience...especially one that it is eager to be shocked. Dumont tells the story of Photographer David and his French girlfriend Katia having sex and examining the beautiful landscapes of southwestern United States after leaving Los Angeles. The pacing of the film and the pretty consistent nudity and sexual content allow us to engage the characters on an intimate level and sort of enjoy the peace, or at least silence, they exist in during this road trip (mind you this is not nearly as explicit as people say it is...its just two naked people who don't even look really great naked anyway). They seem disconnected and somewhat isolated throughout. It actually reaches a level of character depth I don't think dialogue can often reach...to me it's kind of the advantage movies have over other mediums. The content during the film up to this point is what makes the film so real and believable and it did this without me really noticing its purpose. Everything is pretty ordinary with these people, but why is Dumont showing us this?

He is setting the stage for what turns out to be a very disruptive tragedy that befalls these two people. The way we are set up is what makes the film so filthy and profoundly dark. You have to really watch these characters the whole time to get the full effect, but I'm not so sure everyone in the audience wants this film to cut that deeply. There is a clear a message here and every scene assists in giving the conclusion deeper meaning.

Dumont has not created an anti-American film necessarily and he definitely doesn't set out to conquer Hollywood. He's simply made a film that tries to simulate tragedy and gives us the rare opportunity to empathize. This film is probably only really worth experiencing for a select few who can appreciate it. The rest of us should probably pass.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really tests your patience, 30 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Essentially, nothing happens for well over an hour, bar some pointless sex, some very dull and repetitive music, and close ups of two very precious people sulking. The fact that there is 5 minutes of shocking violence at the end might have been effective if one cared a jot for the fates of the two main characters. Unfortunately the preceding hour and a quarter does exactly the opposite; I just couldn't care less what happens to them. In fact their fates are a merciful release for the viewer from the relentless tedium of this pointless exercise. Don't waste your time.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Language is in both English & French, 16 Dec 2012
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C. Waddams (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
English subtitles ONLY appear when the dialogue's in French. No good for the impaired hearing who rely on DVDs being fully subtitled.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twentynine Palms, 24 Sep 2005
This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Its remarkable shock ending aside, this isn't the "experimental horror" director Dumont claims, but rather a strange and quiet road movie in which very little happens. Volatile couple David and Katia are on a working holiday in the small Californian town of Twentynine Palms, and take daily excursions to the surrounding desert, where David often tries to have sex with Katia. So there's lots of dramatic scenery, pointless arguing and bestial shagging, but also a strange sense of uneasiness which just about keeps the film watchable through its rather uneventful two hours.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable garbage from start to finish., 20 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I hope you read this review Mr Dumont. Why do so many French directors make sex scenes so unpleasant, unerotic and complicated ? Sex is supposed to be a pleasureable experience. The lovers in this film literally looked as though they were having there teeth pulled out (without painkillers) and grunted and shouted like complete idiots for no reason (during straightforward intercourse and BJ). btw nothing graphic shown.

Totally unlikeable character as male lead. A miserable film totally detached from reality which I could not wait to end. Enjoyment and interest value for me nil.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HORROR, THE HORROR!, 11 Oct 2009
By 
Pablo Nuevo "PNuevo" (Oviedo, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
One of the greatest (and most ignored) movies of the last decade! Horror, spleen, realism, poetry, arthouse, hardcore... You name it! See it, feel it (the angst) & then try to talk about it! Post-modern, thrilling, enthomologist, nihilist version of "Two For The Road"! Honestly... Take your time!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Twenty nine Palms, 18 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I was very disappointed with this film as it offered an erotic experience but was tame. I would not recommend it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 11 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
good
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars art house yawn, 28 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
2 miserable and ugly french people pretend to have sex in a run down swimming pool with their clothes on ...... why am I watching this borring film .... I didnt wait to see the violence , I turned it off , dont watch this ...
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Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003]
Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003] by Bruno Dumont (DVD - 2005)
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