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Twentynine Palms [DVD] [2003]

2.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Yekaterina Golubeva, David Wissak
  • Directors: Bruno Dumont
  • Producers: Rachid Bouchareb
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Aug. 2005
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009MWAUW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,825 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Dark, experimental French drama. An independent photographer (David Wissak) is scouting locations in the desert outside Los Angeles for a photo shoot, accompanied by his girlfriend (Yekaterina Golubeva). Around the isolated desert town of Twentynine Palms, the two lovers fight, have sex, watch television in their motel, and generally relax. Little do they know that even in the middle of nowhere they are not safe from danger, and that fear and violence can come from within as well as without.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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By A Customer on 30 Mar. 2006
Format: 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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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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