7.3/10
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4 user 5 critic

Dog's Dialogue (1977)

Colloque de chiens (original title)
A charming tale of murder, perversity and narrative echoes told through shots of barking dogs and a La jetée-like series of stills.

Director:

Raoul Ruiz
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Eva Simonet Eva Simonet ... Henri
Robert Darmel Robert Darmel ... (voice)
Silke Humel Silke Humel ... Monique
Frank Lesne Frank Lesne
Marie Christine Poisot Marie Christine Poisot
Hugo Santiago Hugo Santiago
Genevieve Such Genevieve Such
Laurence Such Laurence Such
Michel Such Michel Such
Pierre Olivier Such Pierre Olivier Such
Yves Wecker Yves Wecker
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Storyline

A charming tale of murder, perversity and narrative echoes told through shots of barking dogs and a La jetée-like series of stills.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Short

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dog's Dialogue See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Exiles: Raoul Ruiz: Chilean Film Director (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Masterpiece of Experimental Narrative Symmetry
5 March 2009 | by timmy_501See all my reviews

Although this film is clearly a short at twenty minutes, it packs in more plot than most feature films. It does this through exposition which is aided by the lack of moving images. The majority of this film consists of slideshow like stills explained by an unseen narrator. By limiting the action to these still shots, Ruiz manages to force the viewer to focus on his carefully arranged images while at the same time economically moving the plot along. It's hard to imagine a more efficient way of expressing a story while making a visual impact.

The film gets its name from the dogs which occasionally appear in brief interludes to the action: in some of the few scenes which feature moving images they can be seen struggling with one another and barking incessantly. Perhaps this barking is meant to complement the narration or maybe even suggest the pointlessness of telling such a fatalistic story: is the explanation of the film's narrator ultimately any more meaningful than the barking of a dog? The sense of pre-determined, static destiny one gets while watching implies that it is not.

The narrative features prostitution, suicide, murder, and gender confusion. While this subject matter is of course titillating the aspect that makes it most interesting is the symmetry. The parallels between the first part and the second part (with a linking event in the middle that implies duality) are impossible to ignore. Ultimately, the narrative consists of a cycle which is neither begun by birth nor ended by death. The continuation of this cycle is always logical but never predictable.

This film was quite unique and I have to say that it's ultimately a more powerful film than Chris Marker's similarly executed 1962 film La Jetee. For that matter, I would have to say it's the best short I've ever seen.


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