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    Meat puppets

    Far too self-conscious an imitation of Luis Bu–uel, "Carnage" tediously explores the subject of dead flesh through barely live characters.


    For Luis Bu–uel fans and others who don't particularly care if their movies make any sense or have a point or are remotely interesting in any way, French director Delphine Gleize offers "Carnage." Gleize — who previously made a film called "Le Piranha Andalou" in obvious adoration of Bu–uel's "Un Chien Andalou" — has made a film of self-conscious artiness and almost unbroken tedium.

    Full title: Carnages.
    Written and directed by: Delphine Gleize.
    Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, ēngela Molina, Lio, Lucia Sanchez, Esther Gorintin, Marilyne Even, Clovis Cornillac, Jacques Gamblin, Fˇodor Atkine, Bernard Sens, Pascal Bongard, Rapha‘lle Molinier, Julien Lescarret, Juliette Noureddine, Luc Delhumeau.
    In French, Spanish and Italian with English subtitles.

    Related links: Official site
    Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2003
  • Carnage
  • demonlover
  • Life Kills Me
  • Official site
  • Curiously, it's a film with a theme but no plot. The theme is dead flesh — people and animals drop dead throughout the movie and often enough we get to see them carved up and their parts ferried about. Yum.

    The film starts with a bullfighting disaster in Spain, which lands the torero in a coma and the toro on his way to the slaughterhouse, which will distribute its parts across several countries where they will bring misery on their recipients like it was a bad horror movie.

    With the exception of one oddball little girl, the poorly drawn characters are uninteresting and their stories are weakly told. In two cases we receive ultimate revelations about characters who had not been given enough personality or history to make the revelations meaningful. One is a Spanish mother who has a shameful secret in her past, which is briefly hinted at twice but there's no insight into what it has done to her as a person. Similarly, a pregnant woman has long kept a secret from her husband, but their relationship has not been explored to any extent that would make the secret meaningful. In both cases, the revelation is no bombshell — it's a dud that fizzles and dies without leaving the slightest impact.

    The lovely Chiara Mastroianni — daughter of Marcello Mastroianni and spitting image of her mother, Catherine Deneuve — also appears in a role of almost no significance.

    The one fun character is an epileptic kindergarten-aged girl who confounds her parents and teacher with her playful fixation on death. I only wish that in the swirling character montage that ends the film, the camera hadn't kept zooming in on her impish face with flashing plastic horns on her head as if she were a satan-possessed talking doll that we know will be back in "Carnage VIII."

    MARCH 10, 2003

    Reader comments on Carnage:

  • Impressive debut   from Vlad, Mar 19, 2003
  • carnage   from cemal a, May 11, 2003
  • excellent entertwined-storyline melo.   from Harry Tuttle, Dec 31, 2003
  • Re: Carnage film review: couldnt disagree more   from fred obama, Dec 29, 2011

  • Post a comment on "Carnage"