David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave Los Angeles, en route to the southern California desert, where they search a natural set to use as a backdrop for a...
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Bruno Dumont follows up the controversial Twentynine Palms with this tale of a group of young soldiers who go off to war and experience some life-changing events. Flandres won the Grand Prix Prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
The aspirant nun Céline vel Hadewijch is invited to leave the convent where she studies and she returns to the house of her mother in Paris. Céline meets her outcast Muslim teenage friend ... See full summary »
When an 11-year-old girl is brutally raped and murdered in a quiet French village, a police detective who has forgotten how to feel emotions--because of the death of his own family in some kind of accident--investigates the crime, which turns out to ask more questions than it answers.
A social movie about life nowadays in the north of France. Freddy and his friends are all unemployed. They try to pass away the time by wandering around on their motorcycles and by ... See full summary »
Winter, 1915. Confined by her family to an asylum in the South of France - where she will never sculpt again - the chronicle of Camille Claudel's reclusive life, as she waits for a visit from her brother, Paul Claudel.
A young writer becomes intrigued with a mysterious dark-haired woman who claims to be his long-lost sister and he begin an unusual relationship with her prompting a downward spiral involving his domineering mother and lovely fiancée
David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave Los Angeles, en route to the southern California desert, where they search a natural set to use as a backdrop for a magazine photo shoot. They find a motel in the town of Twentynine Palms and spend their days in their sport-utility vehicle, discovering the Joshua Tree Desert, and losing themselves on nameless roads and trails. Frantically making love all the time and almost everywhere, they regularly fight, then kiss and make up, with little else going on in their empty relationship and quite ordinary daily life--until something horrible and hideous brutally puts an end to their trip. Written by
Casting Director Elisabeth Jereski originally planned to cast Marine Corporal Joshua James in the lead, but was rebuffed by his local Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. F.J. Usry, as the graphic sex scenes and violence would portray the Marine Corps, with which James was actively serving in 29 Palms, in a "less than positive light in the community." See more »
This is the first time I've ever posted a comment on IMDb. I felt so angry after watching this film that I couldn't help myself.
I should qualify my comments by first saying that I watch a lot of films - cult films, horror films, art house, American, Japanese, I watch lots of everything and I also programme films for film festivals. So this isn't a "I don't understand art cinema and only like Hollywood" kind of response. In fact, I generally like art-house cinema and older films much more than mainstream cinema.
29 Palms, however, is utter drivel. Halfway through the film I was starting to wonder whether Dumont was making a satirical comment on these flaky, pretentious and pointless characters. How else to explain that he could have felt that there could be any point in watching these incredibly boring characters. The film is nigh on unwatchable because the characters are such total dullards and nothing happens. There are times when inaction can be fascinating - Monte Hellman has a pretty good stab at a film about nothing happening in Two Lane Black Top. But I finally got the sense that Dumont felt that he was communicating some kind of grand human struggle with his characters. He isn't. He's just simply filming two stupid people playing stupid characters who act like children.
When the action does kick in, after an hour and half of utter boredom, it is totally unsatisfactory. You get the sense that Dumont has no respect for horror films. The first hour and a half is perhaps supposed to elevate the horror elements into something sublime. But this isn't a subversion of horror clichés, it's an obliterative film that takes all of the satisfaction out of the horror elements. There is a vast problem at the moment in that directors don't see the potential in genre films. Horror films these days are generally dumb or incredibly pretentious deconstructions of the genre.
The problem with 29 Palms lies in the fact that without the action of the last half hour there would be no film. But because the first three quarters of the film is so unengaging the last quarter seems utterly pointless anyway. There is no build-up of tension towards the climax, no atmosphere, just bad performances. And the climax is so obtuse that it is mostly amusing. Many great films have covered the themes of 29 Palms. Dumont's film keeps its themes out of focus in an attempt to make grand statements. Ultimately it is says absolutely nothing about anything.
After watching the extras on the disc it does indeed turn out that Dumont thinks that these characters are somehow fascinating. The main actor talks about his performance as if he invented acting. Dumont speaks as if actors have no understanding of the process that they go through. The 'Making Of' Documentary plays like Spinal Tap.
This is a grossly misguided film by a pretentious and misguided director. People will read deep meanings into it but really this is dreadful film-making of the highest order. Absolute drivel, there's no doubt about it.
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