Dogtooth



























I can't remember ever pleading out loud with the end of a movie to, "No! Don't stop there!" Dogtooth did this to me, but I'll leave out the spoilers. One of the best films I've watched this year, Dogtooth is a 2009 Greek absurdist drama directed by Yorgos Lanthimos about a middle-aged couple who have kept their three children on an isolated property and also ignorant of the outside world. The children are now adults, with adult needs, including sexual companionship, but their development has been so stunted they behave like strange kids, with a skewed, damaged sense of reality and impaired linguistic capabilities, since their parents have been mixing words and meanings, causing a sort of aphasia, I assumed to protect them not only from the suffering of a normal, social existence but also from much of the language that goes along with it. "Zombies" are small flowers, for example, and the vagina is a "keyboard." They think an older brother lives on the other side of the fence, that cats are out for human blood, that big fish somehow swim into their pool, and that the airplanes flying over their home miraculously fall out of the sky as plastic airplane toys (really just their parents tossing them into the yard from behind the hedge). The film stars Christos Stergioglou, Michelle Valley, Angeliki Papoulia, Mary Tsoni, and Christos Passalis. The acting is remarkable, as is the cinematography and pacing. When the children aren't portrayed as cute or comical in their ignorance, they are disturbing, demented, and psychopathically violent, creating a very compelling divergence and peculiar portrayal of human nature.

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