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After a bull is killed in a bullfight, its body parts are transported across Spain, France, Italy and Belgium. The bull's parts fall into the wide variety of people, including: an Italian actress selling the bones in a supermarket promotion, a Spanish woman who dines on its steaks, a little girl in France who imagines a world where animals are much larger than humans, and a taxidermist whose wife is simultaneously giving birth to quintuplets. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
. . . and giggles at tragedy on TV *and* real-life. Teenage bullfighter is balletic/transcendent/razor-sharp in his suit of lights and dance of death.
I speculate a movie focusing on the these two immediately-engaging characters and their possible serendipitous intersection would fascinate.
The bullfighter and his arcane ritualistic world of lean and hungry boys are beautifully introduced -- cinematic poetry -- and his opera-buffa older male relatives are superb. A prodigious little girl on Valium and her protective Great Dane, in a world of adults who don't quite get her -- this is a great idea worth developing.
But this film gets scattered -- sacrificed on the altar of 'high-concept' -- i.e., following the pieces of a butchered fighting bull as they make their ways to various dysfunctional human groupings around Europe.
And all at a languorous, Arty pace.
This would be better in the antic tone of a John Waters or Pedro Almodóvar movie. If lingering shots on irrelevant objects and prolonged non-informing close-ups are your thing, enjoy. Even at two hours-ten minutes, the film-maker has not taken time to develop the characters to the point that we care about them.
It doesn't help that the film jumps around story-to-story, dissolving any dramatic tension. One's attention span (perhaps along with one's goodwill) rebels at the feeling it's being abused.
Not to say the actors aren't lovely, the photography not exquisite, the ideas not good -- they are, are, are. But films like this make me -- quite irrationally -- long for an ideal version of the tyranny of the old studio system, where somebody would intervene on behalf of the audience. Still I give it a ten because I sense the film is sincere, and its original ideas are very original indeed.
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