Thursday, December 09, 2010

Some People Call It Canine


Why am I having such a hard time putting my thoughts down on Dogtooth? I even went hopping around earlier reading other people's reviews thinking I might stir up the right set of words, but I still sort of feel dazed. I did notice I wasn't alone on a couple of the other films Dogtooth made me think of - Michael Haneke's The Seventh Continent and Lucrecia Martel's The Headless Woman (the latter my 3rd favorite film of 2009) were a prominent pair.

And this hesitancy - and the current writing about this hesitancy that I am, um, currently writing - is sounding to my ears like antipathy, which is the last thing I want to get across. So let's step away from that. I loved Dogtooth! Loved it. I was told by people I trust that I probably would love it and everything sounded right going in for an enthusiastic love affair between me and the movie, but it's still nice when you sense early on things slipping into that perfect groove where you know, you feel it in your bones, that thing's are going right. It's like a first date in that sense - you look across the table, see the way the other person is bowing their head a little bit, staring up at you with smirking eyes, and you totally know - I'm getting laid tonight!

Dogtooth was a really good lay. It hit all my buttons. It's one made for me. Artsy fartsy and funny and cruel all at the same time. Beautifully lensed in clinically washed-out blues and greens and whites, with a camera that's less interested in a focus on character's faces then it is what the shape of the sides and backs of their heads look like in the space of their surroundings.

And just so delightfully bizarre! There's really not much I like at the movies more than a chance to be surprised, to be put on edge, by a storyteller that more than zigs when you think they're gonna zag - it's like staring at a word, say zig or zag, so hard that the lines of the letters themselves stop having meaning and become this absurd assortment of shapes on a page. What is this zig or zag of which you speak? I do not know, but I like it!



Andreas said...

OWWW, just seeing that last image makes my mouth hurt. I think viewers should be warned just how intensely awkward/painful several scenes in Dogtooth are.

Still, it's a great movie and I felt similarly about it. It's hard to talk about for me because it's at once so refined, idyllic, and comically Twilight Zone-ish. It really does zig.

Now I want to see it again! (Except for the tooth scene at the end. OW!)

Anonymous said...

I LOVED DOGTOOTH!!!!! I also loved your little review, it completely sums up how I felt about the film. Beautiful, bizarre, bewitching,

tearful dishwasher said...

Since I watched this movie, I have not been able to get it out of my head. And the reviews I've read all seem to get it wrong.

So I was glad to read your thoughts on the film and I found myself agreeing with you all the way.

Now I'm just waiting for The Headless Woman to arrive in its little red envelope!

Thanks. I'm going to keep poking around here, cuz, well, you can't be all bad, right?

You loved Dogtooth, and that says a lot.


Ilka said...

Finally watched it! I had a feeling I would love it based on your review and I did! Hence me looking for this old post. But yes, it was so disturbing in all the right ways. I am completely creeped out after watching it and need to take a shower. The sign of good cinema!

Jason Adams said...

LOL So glad you dug it! I've been meaning to rewatch it lately. I'll def. need to before the director's new one comes out in the Spring, at least. D and I were just talking about this movie a couple of days ago, randomly, about the ending with her in the trunk and where we think it goes from there.