Friday, December 24, 2010
Bruno Dumont's HADEWIJCH: Thank god it's opening in time for the religious holiday
Humanité just an over-rated fluke? It's beginning to look more and more likely. With each new film that Bruno Dumont serves up -- Twentynine Palms, Flanders and now HADEWIJCH -- it's is becoming clearer that this fellow has little understanding of how human beings behave or the world works. Consequently, the filmmaker, pictured below, busies himself with rank outsiders: "others" who don't/won't/can't fit in -- working, I guess, from the premise that, if you get as far away as possible from anything remotely resembling normalcy, maybe viewers won't notice how false your characters really are. This would be true for the uber-quirky couple (not to mention the titular community) shown in Twentynine Palms; another couple, this time nearing the brain-dead, in Flanders (and, oh, that atrociously-imagined middle-eastern "war"); and now the religious nut and her zombie family in his new one.
TrustMovies is being crueler than usual here, he also admits that, though he enjoyed (he is stretching that verb hugely) Flanders no more than he did Twentynine Palms, he has now found Hadewijch a bit better than either of the earlier films. Another ten, twenty more movies from Dumont, and who knows how high the enjoyment level will have bubbled.
banlieues, whom Celine comes across (in the Dumont version of meet-cute) and brings home to lunch. Yes! He in turn introduces her to his brother, a stoic and deeply religious Muslim who is involved in -- not theater, not manufacturing, not running the local Mail Box Express (like a Muslim friend I have here in Jackson Heights). Come on, people: Put on those thinking caps. What else would any self-respecting Muslim be concerned with but -- of course -- terrorism.
Yves Cape), and the filmmaker does have a feel for interesting faces (if not any particular acting ability) like that of his leading lady, newcomer Julie Sokolowski. To be fair, the girl has been given a role of which even a young Meryl Streep might have found it difficult to make much sense.
IFC Films, opens today, December 24, in New York City at the IFC Center, with three showings daily. You can check the performance schedule here. And if you can't wait -- or can't get into Manhattan -- the movie is already available via IFC On-Demand. Click the link at left to determine if and how you can get it.