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We wonder, ever wonder how movies like these get made,
This review is from: Julien Donkey Boy  [DVD] (DVD)
Sometimes, ever so sometimes, a movie turns up that hits you in places you didn’t know you had. Or you did know you had them, you just didn’t kow they could be touched and moved by a single cinematic experience. But watching “Julien Donkey-Boy” had had these feelings of sheer beauty in a world that ain’t so beautiful at all. The brilliance of ugliness, the shinging of dead things in back alleys. Harmony Korine, a young maverick filmmaker who is more influenced by the European cinema than of his own country, paints in light and edits in lyric and movement, rather than in logic or rationally motivated choises.
The character in the title is a mild mannered schizofrenic young man who lives in a rather disfunctional familiy, run by a millitant father. The narrative isn’t really a story but more of a series of domestic and outdoor scenes, that together represent the shatered view of life of the leading character.
It’s a shattered view of life, but not necessarely a dark one, what you might expect. Korine doesn’t go for the cheap tricks when it comes to portrait a mentally distrurbed person. Korine is a child looking curiously at the weird grown-up people around him, all doing strange and weird grown-up things. And the funny thing is that those actions of those grown-ups do more than once look very much like childish things.
The movie isn’t really about a schizofrenic young man at all; it’s more a portrait of low life, and the shattering discovering that low life can also have a heart. Only at the surface it may seem like a freakshow, but underneath there is real blood flowing through real veins.
And talk about real and flowing: watch the scene where the pregnant sister (Chloë Sevegny) is cutting the hair of her father, outside in the front yard, (the father, played by european movieicon Werner Herzog): The editing is just as wicked as brilliant, with on the soundtrack an old record on which Werner Herzog talks about a talking context for birds. Completely out of focus, both in form and content, and yet an unmissable part of the entire film – and that shows just how gifted and original this rebellious young Korine is.