|Page 1 of 7:||      |
|Index||67 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had a chance to view Trouble Every Day at the Cinemuerte film festival here in Vancouver, and I felt the need to talk about it, as it's an extraordinary film, yet one which I'll never see again. The film, much like Abel Ferrera's 'The Addiction', features a twist on a well treaded horror device, in this case, Cannibalism, and treats it as a horrendous disease which afflicts someone, and the horrors that person, and as well the people around them suffer. Vincent Gallo, who is terrific here, plays a newlywed who takes his new wife to France for a honeymoon. It is soon learned that he is also searching for a college friend, who with Gallo, participated in experiments during their college days which have left them scarred and ravenous. Gallo seems to be fine, keeping his cannibalistic urges to a minimum, but his college mate, played with unabandon by Beatrice Dalle, is not. As a matter of fact, this is probably the most hateful character I have ever witnessed in a movie. She frequently lures men for sex, and when the sex drive kicks in, that's when the cannibalistic urges start. Much of the cinema in the past has treated Cannibalism either in a sci fi vein (much like George Romero's "dead" movies) or for use as shock value. (Cannibal Holocaust) Very rarely has cannibalism gone down to a believable state (the only film that I can think of right now is 'Alive', but the victims were already dead, and frozen). Much of the films, were of the fantastic vein, "this won't happen here" sort of thing. While the film does take place in France, the director, Claire Denis has made the fate of the characters so realistic and haunting that it's hard to shake off. This brings me to the most ghastly, frightening and sad scene I probably have seen ever. A young man is seduced by Dalle's character, and they proceed to have sex. During which, her impulses start to take over and proceeds to bite into his neck. What follows are the most primal, maddening, shocking, screaming coming from the male - It's hard to describe. He's crying, screaming, shaking. While this is happening, like some wild animal, Dalle starts playing with the terminally injured man, nipping, playing with pieces of flesh, and kissing him. Sickening, scary, hateful, disgusting, haunting. The scene is all of these, but it's amazingly well done, and probably will stick with me for a long time. All in all, I probably won't see Trouble Every Day for a long time (if at all). Don't get me wrong, I think the film is an amazing accomplishment, one of those hooror movies that truly get under your skin and stays there. It's just a movie that is truly hard to like.
I was tired and ready for bed but my curiosity got the better of me and
I put the DVD in, expecting just to watch a few minutes. 1 & 1/2 hours
later the film was over and I didn't want it to be.
Trouble Every Day is a haunting vision of desire gone haywire. Light on story and big on aesthetics, the film moves silently like a sensual and terrible dream. You've got to hand it to Claire Denis - it could have all gone horribly wrong were it not for her ability to set just the right poetic tone and mood.
This film is lovely to look at and the camera work is captivating. There is such suspense when the camera follows the back of the chambermaid's neck. The lack of dialog is so hypnotic that when characters began speaking it was an unwelcome jolt. This was especially true of Vincent Gallo (Shane) whose whiny voice is strangely at odds with his intense and unique looks. Beatrice Dalle is perfect as Core who is more animal than human. Her one speaking line says everything you need to know about her character. There was not a moment that I didn't fully believe Core's plight and pity and fear her.
When the movie begins Core has already completely succumbed to the unexplained sickness that Shane spends most of the film trying to suppress. Core is locked indoors all day in an attempt to prevent her from killing but she finds her way out and eventually the prey comes to her.
The two much talked about cannibalism scenes occur pretty late in the film and are worthy of the fuss -they are stunning.
There isn't enough plot development to figure out exactly what is happening to these people or why. There could have been a bit more explanation but the ambiguity makes everything a bit creepier.
Then I went to bed and you can only imagine my dreams.
"Trouble Every Day" is, for me, one of the most unfairly maligned films of recent times. Surely it is the admittedly confronting content that has people dismissing this near-brilliant meditation on carnal desire, blood lust and homicidal tendencies, and not the filmmaking. There is something gratuitous about the scenes of explicit violence in "Trouble Every Day" but I see no reason why this is grounds to reject the film outright. I think everything else works pretty well from the elliptical narrative that never lets on more than it needs, the stripped and reserved performances, the suggestive camera work and the beautiful, atmospheric photography. The sense of menace created by the guttural aural track and the bloody violence suggest an unusual link between art-film and horror that is reminiscent of Cronenberg and Ferrara. One of the more compelling films I've seen in recent times.
I can see why 'Trouble Every Day' divides viewers. Some find it slow, pretentious and boring, and I totally understand why. It certainly has moments that fit those adjectives, but then there are scenes of great power that really impress. It's difficult and sometimes frustrating viewing, sure, but very beautiful and brutal, and ultimately an extremely fascinating film. 'Trouble Every Day's arthouse approach to horror themes reminded me a little bit of both Abel Ferrara's 'The Addiction' and Jean Rollin's 'Night Of The Hunted', but that's just to give you an idea of the strange territory the movie enters. I can also understand where the David Cronenberg comparisons are coming from, but Claire Denis is a lot less clinical and detached. It's a very emotional movie, and a lot of that has to do with Vincent Gallo's subtle performance. Gallo ('Buffalo '66', 'The Funeral') is a controversial figure as a person, but as an actor there's no disputing his talent. His wife, played by 'Ghost Dog's Tricia Vessey, is also excellent, and Beatrice Dalle ('Betty Blue')'s performance is way out there, but it's Gallo's movie as far as I'm concerned. This movie is not to everyone's taste (no pun intended!), but if you are looking for something different and are willing to put some effort in, I highly recommend this film. There's nothing quite like it.
The provocative cover image of a blood-spattered Beatrice Dalle only
hints at the ferocity within Claire (Chocolat, Beau Travail) Denis'
sad, haunting study of sex and cannibalism that caused record walkouts
and faintings at its Cannes screening.
The voracious, predatory Core (Betty Blue's Dalle) is boarded up in a secluded Paris house by her husband, the errant scientist Leo (Alex Descas). She periodically escapes, seduces passing motorists and in sickening detail, methodically consumes her prey. Her fate is connected to a visiting American doctor Shane Brown (a seedy, unshaven, troubled-looking Vincent Gallo) on his honeymoon in Paris, apparently a test subject for Leo's experiments in unleashing the libido, and who is already having violent masturbatory fantasies of his gorgeous new bride (Tricia Vessey) covered in blood. "I will never hurt you," he whispers to his concerned wife, already showing a tell-tale bite mark on her shoulder.
Trouble Every Day is simply and beautifully shot, and while not as blatantly pornographic as Romance or Anatomy Of Hell, it has a dangerous and electric eroticism that's hard to shake. Wide-eyed Dalle says little yet conveys an air of both tragedy and primal appetite and doesn't overplay her animalism, while Gallo (Buffalo 66) is at his greasy, neurotic best. Its slow pace and spare action deliberately unfold the story in a distinctly European fashion; at the one hour mark the film switches from carnal to charnal, spiraling toward a grotesque and shattering crescendo worthy of the great excesses of the 70s art film. Stunning.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Claire Denis's movies have usually been interesting to me. Then I saw
this one. All I can say is: Wow.
Simply put, Trouble Every Day might have worked very well as a satire. If Denis was aiming in that direction, she failed spectacularly: this flick, from beginning to end, just takes itself far too seriously. There isn't a trace of a desperately needed wink or a nudge in sight.
'Trouble' died somewhere between the idea and the first draft. It doesn't have much of a plot to begin with, but Denis isn't much 'driven' by plots ('Friday Night' is a good example). She's one of them there, you know, artistes.
This indifference to plot is okay by me, but don't give us incredulous nonsense in its place while you obey other conventional narrative rules.
There are so many silly things happening here that I don't know how to list them -- I mean, 200-lb. men getting eaten alive by a waifish girl, screaming bloody murder in terrible pain, but apparently not resisting. You know, they can't do anything about it; they're helpless. I repeat: Wow.
The biggest whopper of them all begins and ends with the Vincent Gallo character marrying the Tricia Vessey character. Luckily for us all, the marriage is unconsummated; if not, there wouldn't be much point in a script -- or a film.
This whole feeble conceit strains what little credulity this movie has -- a seemingly sweet, intelligent, sensitive and sensible woman falls in love and marries an extremely creepy guy (Gallo) who just happens to be a conflicted cannibal. It's just something she kind of overlooked while romancing this decidedly UNromanceable weirdo. Perhaps she neglected to notice his gory fingernails, his stale bloody breath. I mean, there are plot holes, and then there are PLOT HOLES.
This most peculiar of marriages REMAINS unconsummated (jeez, another Wow) until they go to Paris on a honeymoon and romp with gargoyles on top of Notre Dame de Paris (that's Victor Hugo you hear groaning in the background). The bloodthirsty Gallo realizes he cannot have coital joy with the beautiful Vessey because, well, you know, then he'd have to eat her, as he does earlier with a rather luckless chambermaid in a disgusting scene bathed in gore. So, in deference to Vessey, he savagely masturbates instead. This is a very considerate cannibal.
Once again, if Denis had just given us a glimmer of a satirical edge, this film might have worked. But she plays it straight from beginning to end, with no room anywhere for irony.
The theme of this movie, if you strip it bare, started with Nosfaratu 85 years ago, and it's been repeated cinematically about 40,000 times, give or take, since then. It's the vampire-werewolf thing gussied up with sex and some stunning cinematography. Denis is treading very familiar metaphorical ground here.
We symbolically 'consume' each other, we viciously hurt and maim each other, we unconsciously yearn to 'enter' and merge with the ones we love, to be 'parts' of them, all in our quest for a puzzling metaphysical grace, a 'sustenance' if you will. Five centuries ago, the great English poet John Donne used to write about such things (without the explicit flesh-eating stuff).
There's a pretty pathetic (and entirely unsatisfying) ending to this film as well.
BIG SPOILER COMING.
The hopelessly oblivious and spectacularly clueless Vessey (can such people REALLY exist?) notices blood dripping from a shower curtain, and in the final frames, we know the overheated Gallo is primed and finally ready to do the nasty with her. The camera catches Vessey's eyes in closeup, and she's slowly awakening. 'Jeez,' those eyes are saying, 'I think maybe I made a mistake. My creepy wild-eyed hubby is about eight seconds away from ripping my vagina apart with his jaws, entering my body and disemboweling me. Gonna eat my intestines and stuff. There's gonna be a lot of blood and I'm gonna be dead. Oh my. Can you in the audience see how expressive my eyes are?'
And so the movie ends. I say again: Wow. There's no disbelief here to suspend.
"Trouble Everyday" has been criticized a lot because of two scenes. Two very hard scenes to watch, which caused two women to faint at the Cannes Film Festival screening . Those scenes are not necessary in the film to understand it or enjoy it. The suspense is extremely well held during the whole movie and it didn't have to be so violent. So, the question is "why?". The story would have interested people like Hitchcock or Polanski, and they would have been more subtle and cautious. Claire Denis is not a cautious director. She likes to approach her films with honesty and courage. She chooses to tell a story and wants to tell it as frankly as possible. She did a rational choice that is very modern. Her film is complete, and absolutely credible. She shows us some things that have never been shown before. She explores cinema with anxious desire and rage. That's what makes her film so moving and realistic. As a conclusion, let's say that Beatrice Dalle gives the most incredible performance as a woman who feels like an animal but yet wants to die.
This slow moving horror movie might ignite some viewers to herald it is a misunderstood, haunting masterpiece of contemporary horror to place alongside Don't Look Now or, rather, The Addiction. This movie is no masterpiece. Clair Denis seems to be so full of her recent addition to the ranks of European auteurs, that she has seen fit to make this pretentious, preposterous mess. Certainly some directors can pull a "style-over-substance"-strategy off (e.g. Baz Luhrman), but Denis' refusal to give Trouble Every Day meaning is so frustrating that eventually you can't hold on any more. In a not so academic point of criticism, the film is 1) very boring, and 2) very gross. It seems, that Denis is never quite certain what the film is really about. Lust? Love? The dangers of biological tampering? Existential loneliness among modern city-dwellers? To this viewer it seems to be all about Clair Denis wanting to make a very "arty" horror movie. Well, she succeeded. This film is arty beyond the point of redemption.
This movie is up until now the dullest and most boring movie of the
Stockholm Film Festival. It is not touching, not moving, not repulsive,
anything, just boring. Slow and completely void of story and character
development, it leaves me feeling empty. Lesson for the movie-makers: Just
throwing in some blood and unnecessary rape doesn't take away that this is
100 minutes of nothing.
Crap I say.
Here we have a French horror film, directed by Claire Denis. I found
this film by chance and decided to check it out for no other reason
than curiosity. Most of the films I watch I've either known about for
years or discovered through a "paper trail" as it were. It's films like
Trouble Every Day that sap all the energy out of me when writing a
I'm teetering very slowly on the edge of exclusively reviewing
older films rather than traipsing through a land of the absolute
garbage that's been released in the past decade. It's a good thing this
came out 9 years ago, otherwise the statement I made about French
cinema in a recent review would be rendered useless.
The synopsis of the film is about a recently married American couple who are honey-mooning in Paris. The husband is stricken with a strange sexual desire to inflict damage during intimacy. The affects, on a more grand scale, mirror those of cannibalistic tendencies. He seeks treatment from an expert in the field that may be of use to him; the doctor's wife also suffers from this strange desire but on a more severe level.
Horror films within the last decade have tried so desperately to create their own niche in the market, and more often than not, end up creating a sub-genre of try-too-hards. Speaking on a more personal level, I am an artist. I am appreciative of various mediums and I can respect a film's artistic vision if it actually has one. There has to be some level of structure involved on all fronts, otherwise the talent pool becomes cluttered with a mass of idiots who like to pretend they're something they aren't. I don't know Claire Denis as a human being face to face but it's apparent that the message of her film is obscure and "artistic" just for the sake of being that way; there are few things on this planet that annoy me greater than that.
The people that praised this film for its direction are probably the same people that live in a delusional fairyland where untalented directors can release vomit for wholesale and be praised for it simultaneously. This one is for the birds. If you'd like to watch a film that doesn't pretend to be sophisticated, watch 1984's The Company of Wolves a film that utilizes terrific use of symbolism as a result of REAL talent not slapdash ridiculousness produced by a team of wannabe's.
|Page 1 of 7:||      |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|