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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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
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." See more »
Given the talk on this film, I really wasn't expecting much. And after watching it, I can safely say, that I will never trust the opinions of others again. Unlike my opinion, which you should all listen to! The complaints from people who say it's too slow moving, have obviously never treated themselves to some of the better films from Leigh or Jarmusch. I can imagine what they'd think of Stranger than paradise. These types of movie goers should be ignored at all costs. These ADD movie watchers are the reason films like Breakdown have to turn into a Rambo movie somewhere in the middle. Because studios are afraid these cinematic sugar addicts will never follow a film not layered in one liners, cool dialogue, and fast action.
Directed by Bruno Dumont, Palms moves along not so much in a slow and uneventful manner, as rather in a real life, non Hollywood fashion we all move in. Especially when we find ourselves in a small and hot desert town, as this couple does.
David (David Wissak) and Katia (Yekaterina Golubeva) are out in the California desert to find a setting for a photo shoot for David, an independent photographer. It's great that there are no distractions from the two main characters. No lights or heavy traffic, or friends stopping by for coffee. These two are as passionate as they are unstable in their relationship. They regularly shift back and forth between controlled arguing and uncontrolled sexual release. All of which is magnified by the heat and isolation of their surroundings.
What I love about this film is that I can't remember a single line from it. Just as I can't remember most conversations overheard in everyday life. They talk about the same mundane things we all do, while having the same petty arguments most in relationships have as well.
I know that hardly sounds like great movie viewing, but don't worry, that's not the entire film. Nor is it what makes this film brilliant. What makes it brilliant is how it uses the seemingly uneventful as it's base, while building upwards from that with a constant undertone of tension and dysfunction that shifts back and forth between blunt and subtle.
This is not a fun movie to watch. But it is one that I will never forget.
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