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Julien Donkey-Boy (1999)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,602 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 70 user | 46 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

A portrait of the effects of schizophrenia on family life is the central focus.

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An experimental film originally shown as an art installation in Manhattan by Harmony Korine. It involved left-over footage from his directorial debut "Gummo", projected on three separate ... See full summary »

Director: Harmony Korine
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brian Fisk ...
Pond Boy
...
Pearl (as Chloe Sevigny)
...
Father
Joyce Korine ...
Grandma
...
Chris
Miriam Martínez ...
Teenage Girl (as Miriam Martinez)
Edgar Erikkson ...
Bearded Man
James Moix ...
Dancing Man
Victor Varnado ...
Rapper
Oliver A. Bueno ...
Bowler
Roger Harris ...
Bowler
Josseph Padilla ...
Bowler
Olivia Pérez ...
Bowler (as Olivia Perez)
Freddie Perez ...
Bowler
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Storyline

"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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dogme # 6 - Julien Donkey-Boy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,845 (USA) (8 October 1999)

Gross:

$80,226 (USA) (5 November 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harmony Korine originally took on the role of Chris. Later, the role was given to Evan Neumann. See more »

Quotes

Father: You're going to be a winner; just don't shiver. A winner doesn't shiver.
See more »

Connections

References The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet in F Major, op. 96, 1st Movement (American)
Composed by Antonín Dvorák
Performed by The Takács Quartet (as Takacs Quartet)
See more »

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User Reviews

Harmony Korine is one of Americas' bravest and best directors
18 June 2001 | by (Atlanta, Gee-oh-ja) – See all my reviews

Much like European directors Thomas Vinterberg, Lars Von Trier, Jean Luc Goddard, and Werner Herzog (who plays the father!), young American director Harmony Korine is not content to just produce a product. This is film as art. This is film as statement. This is film as reality. It is not escapism-quite the contrary; "Julien" offers nothing in the way of fantasy (other than it's a 'film' and therefore not 'real'). Rather, it injects the viewer into the nervous system of an American most would pretend doesn't exist. It follows a moment in time for Julien, a mentally deranged young man, and his family as they trudge through their mundane, yet disturbed lives. Opening with Julien apparently murdering a young boy in the woods, the viewer is immediately tuned in to just how disturbed he is. From here, the film gives a 'fly on the wall' view of his family; an exasperated father (Herzog), abusive out of his own failures-both personal and familial. A classically driven brother who, through amatuer wrestling, tries to impress daddy-to no avail. Rounding the unit out is his sister (Chloe Sevigny), a ray of light (albeit tainted) within the molassas thick dispair. As the film progresses, we get bits and pieces of a family in sharp decline; the madness isn't all Juliens' that's for sure. Information is given in fits and starts, like bad dreams in still shots. Being a so called 'Dogme' film, "Julien Donkey Boy" has a voyueristic bent, akin to watching a home movie you found on the street. This feeling is only heightened by the seemingly improvised acting (I say 'seemingly' because it can't be ALL impov; forget what you've heard "Julien" DOES have a plot, just not a conventional one). Obviously, "Julien Donkey Boy" is not for everybody, just as "Fitzcarraldo" is not for everyone. I personally found this film compelling. This is the way some people actually live- someone you know, maybe even yourself, and that's why this film works. If I have any criticism, it's not of "Julien" per se, but the fact that all of Korine's films have dealt with teenagers, therefore probably making it easier for some to dismiss his work as merely 'fringe'.


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