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Twentynine Palms (2003)

Unrated | | Drama | 17 September 2003 (France)
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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... See full summary »

Director:

Bruno Dumont

Writer:

Bruno Dumont
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yekaterina Golubeva ... Katia (as Katia Golubeva)
David Wissak David Wissak ... David
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Storyline

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 anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Germany | USA

Language:

French | English | Russian

Release Date:

17 September 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

29 Palms See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,870, 11 April 2004

Gross USA:

$54,523

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$167,999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nr. 38 on Slant Magazine's 'The 100 Best Films of the Aughts' list: "This minimalist horror film from French auteur Bruno Dumont pares all aspects of narrative storytelling back, reducing plot, character, action, and image to the bare essential as a pair of bickering lovers venture out into the California desert on a photojournalism assignment, using the opportunity to screw and fight their way through a remote landscape. There is an unaccountable feeling of dread in the images, perhaps suggested by a threateningly arid soundscape, and one has the feeling that predators are lurking just beyond the edge of the frame waiting to pounce. The climax is as harrowing as I Spit on Your Grave (1978), only told through the eye of an art-house provocateur." [2010] See more »


Soundtracks

Akata Sun Dunchi
Written by Takashi Hirayasu
Performed by Takashi Hirayasu and Bob Brozman
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User Reviews

 
Mixed bag....worth a watch, I think.
13 January 2007 | by Quag7See all my reviews

Well this one definitely isn't for everyone, as you can tell by the comments. For awhile, I liked this movie. I kind of liked these two driving around in the desert. The movie had that sort of dreamlike Zabriskie Point thing going on. In fact, along those lines, I'd mention that the film did feel like something from the 1960s (in a good way).

Katia Golubeva is a pretty enough girl, and we see a lot of her.

I know from regular trips to Death Valley that Europeans have a special respect for American deserts. At Badwater Junction in Death Valley, you can walk out onto the salty flats and despite the fact that you're in a giant valley, they know enough to whisper, or remain silent altogether. It's a pensive respect for the desert I wish more Americans had.

Here, you get a lot of California desert; always a good thing (to me). I liked these two characters when they were getting along - there was a weird and charming sort of innocence in their sex life and affection for each other.

Didn't fully get why they were constantly sniping at one another or why they kept having falling outs with each other. And that seems to be important to the overall point of the film, and I'm still thinking about it. I wanted to slap them - especially David - when he was being a jerk.

Because you should *never* take a sexually liberated French girl naked in the desert for granted that way (Am I right?).

The end is jarring, and a metaphor for something but I'm not sure what, exactly. Something, I suspect, about the fact that the two characters should have been a little more tender and appreciated each other more (especially on the dude's part), what with all the meanness and cruelty in the world (and so on).

This is not for everyone. It is slow moving, beautiful to look at, with characters who occasionally charm and occasionally irritate. The end sequence is disturbing and unpleasant.

If you're a fan of mainstream Hollywood, you might find this excruciatingly boring. The pervasive quiet of the movie makes the end all the more startling.

This film was not an unqualified success, but there's a fair amount to like here, I think. For certain people, anyway.


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