offoffoff film
 RELATED PROJECTS

      







 ADVERTISEMENT













Site links
  • OFFOFFOFF Home
  • About OFFOFFOFF
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
     
    Search the site:
     

    Film section
  • Film main page
  • Film archive
  • Audio index
  • Film links


    Top 10 lists


  • Top 10 films of 2004
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2003
    (Andrea, David, Joshua, Leslie)
  • Top 10 films of 2002
  • Top 10 films of 2001
  • Top 10 films of 2000
  • Top 10 films of 1999
  •  All of our top 10 lists, 1999 - 2004

    Current movies


  • Afterschool
  • Antichrist
  • Babies
  • Broken Embraces
  • Dare
  • District 9
  • The End of Poverty?
  • Fix
  • Food Beware
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats
  • Pirate Radio
  • Precious
  • Red Cliff
  • The September Issue

    Festivals


  • Brooklyn International Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • New York Film Festival

    Archive


    Complete archive

    Recent reviews:
  • (500) Days of Summer
  • Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer
  • The Art of the Steal
  • The Beetle
  • Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
  • Boy A
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • Burn After Reading
  • Cold Souls
  • The Duchess
  • Elegy
  • Enlighten Up! A Skeptic's Journey Into the World of Yoga
  • Five Minutes of Heaven
  • Flame and Citron
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • The Human Condition
  • Hunger
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • King of Shadows
  • The Lemon Tree
  • Lorna's Silence
  • A Man Named Pearl
  • Man on Wire
  • Memorial Day
  • Mister Foe
  • Morning Light
  • My F├╝hrer
  • My One and Only
  • Paris
  • The Pervert's Guide to Cinema
  • Peter and Vandy
  • Police, Adjective
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind
  • Rachel Getting Married
  • A Secret
  • Sleep Dealer
  • St. Trinian's
  • Thirst
  • Throw Down Your Heart
  • Valentino: The Last Emperor
  • What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Wild Grass
  • Jay DiPietro

  •  REVIEW: JULIEN DONKEY BOY

      Julien Donkey Boy
    It's not that easy being grainy

    The twisted family of "Julien Donkey-Boy" is captured — in a concept pioneered by Danish directors — in low-res, jerky, cinema-verite fashion by the mind behind "Kids" and "Gummo."

    By JOSHUA TANZER
    Offoffoff.com


    Harmony Korine — co-writer of "Kids" and maker of "Gummo" — borrows a concept from some experimental Danish directors in a bid to show America's most messed-up family in "Julien Donkey-Boy."

    JULIEN DONKEY BOY
    Written and directed by: Harmony Korine.
    Cast: Ewen Bremner, Chloe Sevigny, Werner Herzog, Evan Neumann.

    Related links: Official site
      
    The Danish concept is Dogma 95 (in Danish, Dogme 95), under which directors swear to make films with no artifice — using one handheld camera with one mounted light, no special effects, no sound dubbing, no props, and so on. (You can check the Dogme 95 web site for the movement's whole manifesto.) The result in the first Dogma film, last year's amazing "The Celebration," seemed to be just what the Danes envisioned: a hard-hitting no-nonsense story in which the rules set the filmmakers free and all the energy went into the story and the acting. The occasional jerkiness or graininess of the picture doesn't get in the way.

    "Julien Donkey-Boy" doesn't quite work that way. Korine doesn't make a carefully structured movie within his technical limitations — he blows the plot to pieces and exults in the fractured film quality as shards of shattered story clatter across the screen. He takes the Dogma idea and uses it in his own way.

    That's not to make "Julien" out to be a work of supreme idiosyncratic genius — let's just say it's hard to forget. It's scene after scene of disturbing behavior by members of an extremely troubled family. Julien (Ewen Bremner of "Trainspotting") is a gawky young man who rants on the street and is capable of wit, affection and shockingly unfeeling brutality. His pregnant sister Pearl (Chloe Sevigny of "Kids," "Gummo" and the current "Boys Don't Cry") is at least enough in touch with reality to go to the doctor and buy baby clothes, but she's an eager participant in the family fantasy life. The father (director Werner Herzog), who remains unnamed throughout the film, rides herd on all his kids but especially on Chris (Evan Neumann), a strapping high-schooler who is fighting a losing battle between trying to achieve normalcy in the outside world and coping with the insanity at home. This father-son relationship is a carbon-copy of the one in the movie "Shine," but in a setting that's closer to "Eraserhead" or "Freaks."

    Korine deserves to be taken seriously for creating an uncompromising film that merges pictures, sound, characters and style into a daring vision. But most people who see "Julien Donkey-Boy" will leave the theater disturbed and it will take a special kind of odd-movie aficionado to appreciate the feeling.

    OCTOBER 15, 1999
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Julien Donkey Boy:

  • julien donkey boy   from elmore dangerass, Jan 12, 2001
  • Re: julien donkey boy   from Vulvaland, Apr 19, 2001

  • Post a comment on "Julien Donkey Boy"