Julien Donkey-Boy

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  • Dogma, Drama, Experimental , produced in 1999 USA
  • Actors: Ewen Bremner, Chloë Sevigny, Werner Herzog
  • Directed by: Harmony Korine
  • Rating: 5.8 out of 10
  • Plot Summary: Flashing a mouthful of fake gold teeth, Julien (Ewen Bremner) wanders the streets of New York City, mumbling nonsensical syllables to himself. He tries to avoid the abuse of his sadistic drunken gas-mask-wearing father (German director Werner Herzog). He cracks a young boy's head open with a rock. He befriends a blind figure skater. He wears a bra and underwear as he wrestles with his younger brother. And his sister, Pearl (Chloë Sevigny), is pregnant--with Julien's child.

    Writer-director Harmony Korine succeeds remarkably well in showing the world through Julien's eyes: a schizophrenic kaleidoscope of images--some hauntingly beautiful, some disturbing and violent. The first American film made in accordance with the Danish filmmaking manifesto Dogma 95 (which also includes THE CELEBRATION and MIFUNE), JULIEN DONKEY-BOY uses no cinematic tricks such as artificial lighting or studio sound. Shot on handheld digital video, the film was transferred to 16mm stock before being blown up to 35mm film for the final print. Korine used this unique method to give the film the low-definition, degraded look of an old Super-8 home movie. Pushing the envelope further, Korine rejects classic narrative storytelling in favor of a more poetic succession of scenes. The result is a gritty, surreal collage that powerfully and touchingly evokes the schizophrenic experience as few films have.
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