Friday, January 28, 2011

Thoughts on Dogtooth

-A domineering father (Christos Stergioglou), a complacent mother (Michelle Valley), a curiously rebellious older daughter (Aggeliki Papoulia), a shy young daughter (Mary Tsoni), and an (evidentally) sexually selfish son live together in a bizarre world within their swanky compound, with only the father allowed to leave for work and supplies. The children have never left the compound, and through warnings of certain death outside the fence, a fabled brother who lives just beyond after being cast out, and renaming of 'outside' words to apply to household items ('phone' is a saltshaker, etc), they are in place to never attempt to do so. Passionless sex, incest, animal mutilation, and the like ensue.

-So bizarre is the opening ten minutes that when the hardcore shit shows up, you take it with a shrug, because what were you expecting? A grotesque world painted in pastels, whites, and red balloons, offering no explanation but for a passing reference to protecting their children from corruption.

-Performances are lovely all around, but really, it's the director's show. Yorgos Lanthimos gives us a world claustrophobic, tight and controlled, just barely hiding the sometimes-subliminal, sometimes-not brutality crawling under the projection of the camera, the skin of the actors, the shrubbery lining the fence, the good job stickers attached to the childrens' headboards. Everything about this film is coated in frank transgression disguised as security. I love it.

-Best movie reference ever.