Marquis

This very bawdy 1989 collaboration between cartoonist Roland Topor and director Henri Xhonneux gives us human actors in elaborate animal masks (designed by Topor) enacting a story rather similar to that of the Marquis de Sade during the French Revolution. (The marquis is a dog who carries on long philosophical dialogues with his equally talkative penis; his principal adversaries are a rooster prison governor and a Jesuit camel.) I’ve only seen portions of this odd, poker-faced Belgian-French production, but it’s unique, intelligent, and often funny. (JR)

Published on 01 Jun 1990 in Featured Texts, by admin

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American Stories

Chantal Akerman’s compendium of Jewish jokes, filmed in English in a vacant lot in Brooklyn, with a cast that includes Eszter Balint (Stranger Than Paradise), Judith Malina, and Max Brandt. It’s not as visually striking as most of Akerman’s work, and the jokes often don’t come across as funny, but it’s steeped in the brooding melancholia and the nocturnal, insomniac ambiance of Toute une nuit, one of her best films. Fans of Akerman’s work won’t want to miss this; its distinctive bittersweet taste lingers (1989). (JR)

Published on 01 Jun 1990 in Featured Texts, by admin

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