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Julien Donkey-Boy (1999)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,596 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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Title: Julien Donkey-Boy (1999)

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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

In preparation for his role, 'Ewen Bremner' worked for several months in an institution for the criminally insane in Queens, New York. He had to take courses in first-aid, hygiene ("a half-day course in washing my hands") and crisis management before he was given the job. See more »

Quotes

Father: If I were so stupid, I would slap my own face.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Death at a Funeral (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Soft Ash
Written & Performed by Darrin Verhagen
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User Reviews

 
Jeez
19 March 2007 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

There is a line that separates two types of independent art-house films often misconstrued as one. One side of the line is populated by films that are inventive and disturbingly stimulating of emotions, usually a completely nude display of unpleasant things and people. The other side is comprised of films that are shocking, repulsive, and generally don't move forward with their stories, instead shuffling sustained sequences where virtually nothing changes, shapelessly finding its way to the end of the movie. julien donkey-boy could either be lying perfectly upon this line between both types of films, or it could be the latter type. Usually, the latter type can be very basically and degradingly entertaining, voyeuristically tempting you to continue watching its stylistic repugnance.

A bigger part of me likes julien donkey-boy. A smaller part of me doesn't. The part of me that likes it is fond of the gritty, demented use of the camera. The film's setting, a trashy, lower middle class environment full of generally unhealthy and unattractive people, is appropriate for Anthony Dod Mantle's bleak, very very grainy and unglamorous lens. Upon reflection, I realize that the film was really trying to say something, but the part of me that doesn't like it tells me that it's too immediately unclear and abstract to be fully understood.

The film's unabashed, possibly record-setting weirdness could be neither a plus or minus, and rather something meant to challenge the viewer, to make us reflect on the judgmental perspective that keeps many from understanding films like these and characters like those that are in it. So I suppose the verdict is that it's a good movie, but for a rare and acquired taste.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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