In Paris, a young American who works as a Michael Jackson lookalike meets Marilyn Monroe, who invites him to her commune in Scotland, where she lives with Charlie Chaplin and her daughter, Shirley Temple.
Professional motorcycle racer Bud Clay heads from New Hampshire to California to race again. Along the way he meets various needy women who provide him with the cure to his own loneliness, but only a certain woman from his past will truly satisfy him.
A series of hazy 8mm vignettes, accompanied by a soft, lilting voice over, in which girls skulk around schoolyards, spray graffiti, drink, smoke, pose and embrace, evoking the loneliness, confusion and overwhelming wonder of growing up.
"O, mio babbino caro" plays as a woman skates gracefully. In contrast, little is graceful and daddy is not dear in Julien's world. His father listens to blues wearing a gas mask; dad prods, lectures, and derides Julien as well as Julien's brother and pregnant sister, while grandma attends to her dog. Julien is different, schizophrenic. He wears gold teeth. He bowls, sings, worships, and chats with a group of young adults with disabilities. His sister's child is probably his own. He talks on the phone, imagining it's his mother, who died in childbirth years before. He may be a murderer of children. From his point of view (perhaps), the film follows this odd family for a few weeks. Written by
After completing a Dogme 95 film, directors must write a confession to their fellow members, explaining the ways in which they have broken the Dogme "Vow of Chastity." In his Confession for this film, Harmony Korine wrote that Chloë Sevigny is not really pregnant in the film; she's wearing a pillow. See more »
I will say that this film is Art at the risk of having raw vegetables thrown at me. It is not "a movie", as in "Hey, Mary, let's go down to the multiplex and catch Julien Donkey-Boy." No. I have the mixed pleasure of understanding this film's subject matter as a clinician. The film conveyed, in my educated opinion, a sensual experience of being very close to the dysfunction it displays. What may seem like unsophisticated art school techniques with sound and image to the casual viewer rang absolutely affectively true to me, as a person who has worked in locked units of state mental hospitals with these families. As entertainment, the film is terrible, as it should be. I would not advise buying an extra large popcorn. It is disturbing and enlightening. Whether or not it belongs in a theater, museum or a classroom is probably debatable. Werner Herzog was brilliant. Ewen Bremner blew me away. Bremner's acting range is amazing. I look forward to seeing him some day in a "regular guy" role.
25 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?