HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Julien Donkey-Boy One For The WinnersBuy this film here.
Year: 1999
Director: Harmony Korine
Stars: Ewen Bremner, Chloë Sevigny, Werner Herzog, Joyce Korine, Evan Neumann, Chrissy Kobylak, Alvin Law, Victor Varnado, Carmel Gayle, Virginia Reath, Mary O'Hara, Brian Fisk, Tony Mullica, Will Oldham
Genre: Drama, Weirdo
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Julien (Ewen Bremner) suffers from extreme schizophrenia, which can lead him to do regrettable things such as what he does today, while out in the countryside. He meets a boy (Brian Fisk) who has found a turtle there and Julien is delighted to see it, but the joy clouds his mind and he attacks the boy, killing him because he does not know his own strength. He buries the body and heads for home, soon forgetting that he ever met his victim never mind murdered him, but with Julien's damaging homelife, which he shares with his father, brother, grandmother and sister, it's not surprising he has ended up the way he has.

For the first American Dogme 95 film, we turn to Harmony Korine who apperently saw the inherent madness in the movement when he applied its rules to his work, reputedly a decision taken shortly before the film was to be shot. If co-instigator of the rules, Lars Von Trier, had made his film The Idiots with normal people pretending to be mentally defective, then Julien Donkey-Boy looked at things from the other perspective, the mentally unfortunate attempting to get along in the world just like "normal" people do. The entire experience takes place through the eyes of the lead character, which does not make for easy viewing.

It's to Bremner's credit that he is never less than convincing in the title role, but then he is assisted at every turn by characters who are either outwardly normal but internally messed up, or those with physical disabilities who are inwardly perfectly fine. Alas for Julien that his immediate family are the most messed up of all those he knows, featuring as they do a spacey Chloë Sevigny as Pearl, the sister he has made pregnant, or Werner Herzog as his plainly insane father, who pushes brother Chris (Evan Neumann) to physical endurance tests for an upcoming wrestling competition.

So as Chris climbs up the stairs of Julien's home with his hands, or is hosed down with freezing water by the father, we follow the protagonist through his typical day, which might include bowling with the blind or simply ranting on street corners. Korine and his crew used hidden cameras to capture Bremner's antics with the public, and judging by the final scenes, the actor was very brave - or lucky not to receive unwanted attention. As with the director's previous film Gummo, there's a sense that you're watching a parade of weirdness for its own sake, and the attempts to tug the heart strings have a queasy mood.

Some of it can be quite funny, as Herzog, for example, is always good for a laugh whether performing bizarre monologues or trying to drink medicine from one of his slippers. The scene where he explains to Julien why his son's ramblings will never be as good as the finale of Dirty Harry has a ring of truth about it, though perhaps not what the filmmakers intended. Elsewhere, there is a blind ice skater (Chrissy Kobylak), armless card tricks from Alvin Law, you can play "Spot the Will Oldham" (the musician is there somewhere) and at the party, Korine offers a valuable record of cigarette magician Tom Mullica's act apropos of nothing much. The insistently grainy and shaky photography may be an approximation of Julien's mindset, but it can make the film too closely resemble the home movies of some hopeless family you're lucky not to have met, and did not represent much of a progression for Korine's ouevre, whether Julien's point of view is reliable or not.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2602 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: