Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Dogtooth" (Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009)

When was the last time you walked out of a movie theater laughing? Okay, now when was the last time that laughter was a breed of nervous, serving only to relieve tension in the aftermath of the film? Dogtooth (Kynodontas), a Greek drama and dark comedy, leaves little room for any other reaction.
It is the story of a Greek husband and father (Christos Stergioglou) whose highest priority is to protect the innocence of his now teenage children. To do this, he has confined his son (Hristos Passalis) and two daughters (Aggeliki Papoulia and Mary Tsoni), along with his wife (Michele Valley), to an isolated country estate where they are home schooled and spend their days playing oddly childish games, protecting the property from house cats, and learning the “real” meanings of words (ie: zombies are “little yellow flowers” and a cunt is a “large lamp”). Early on in the film, the father starts bringing home a female security guard, Christina (Anna Kalaitzidou), to satisfy his son’s libidinal urges. However, she ends up doing more than just fucking his son.
The rest of the film follows changes in family dynamic and individual characters, especially that of the protagonist eldest daughter, during and after Christina’s interactions with the family. Filled with disturbing abnormal sexuality, instances of physical violence reminiscent of Fight Club, and unexpected American pop culture references, it is impossible to predict much between scenes. Heightened by intense cinematography and camera angles designed to intimately weave viewers into the fabric of the film, it is personal to the fullest meaning of the word.
              In 94 minutes, Dogtooth says more about social conditioning, parenting, and the human condition than the vast majority of films. Exploring the notion that ripened fruit will rot if it doesn’t fall from the tree, this satire may very well make you laugh, cringe, and look away from time to time. Considering that we live in a cinematic world of bubble gum chick flicks and cheesy male fantasy action films, this movie is challenging in a rare and beautiful way.

"Dogtooth" Trailer & Additional Information

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