Dogtooth

March 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve been really sick with a fever for the last few days, and just roaming around in our apartment in misery, trying to pass the time til eventually (I assume) the fever will be gone and I can be a normal human being again.

I’ve been watching a lot of movies. One of them was Dogtooth:

Watching Dogtooth with a fever is a little like being in high school and hitting play on Pink Floyd’s The Wall just when the acid kicks in, but I didn’t realize this until I had started and by then, it was too late. I was hooked and couldn’t turn it off.

Anyway. It’s an immensely creepy and disturbing film with weird little tragic-comic touches and the whole thing comes off to me as a metaphor for the kind of internal logic that exists in families. You know, where the older brother is The Guy Who Can Do No Harm and the younger sister somehow is cast as The One That Always Screws Up. Even if to everyone on the outside these blanket pronouncements formed early in life based on (usually) trivial amounts of information seem ridiculous, within a family, they work. They don’t make sense, they’re not actually true, but they work. Other stories are built around these assumptions and then other ideas put into place that rely on those assumptions, and soon so have this tower of ideas that is based, basically, on nothing at all.

And it’s like that in the movie – the family, blocked off from the outside world, interprets key concepts totally differently than we do (for instance, a small kitten is seen as a terrifying, blood-thirsty creature who will stop at nothing to kill you). They do this down to basic vocabulary words (what other film could contain the line, “What would my father say if he knew that you made me lick your keyboard?”… and yes, it refers to what you think it does), but it’s all done in this slow, methodical, sort of way where first you dismiss it, then you grudgingly accept it, and then you realize how awful it is that you’ve accepted it at all.

Good film. Possibly made better with the fever, not sure.

1 Comment

  1. This Tuesday’s film: Dogtooth (2009) | Visual & Critical Studies said,

    […] here’s one more appraisal from our own Amy […]

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