Northern France, 1910. The bourgeois Van Peteghem family return to their towering mansion above ‘Slack Bay’ every summer. An unlikely romance blossoms between the mischievous Bille Van Peteghem and local mussel-gatherer, ‘Ma Loute’. Meanwhile, a series of mysterious disappearances are taking place.
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I don’t know where Dumont’s farcical turn will lead, but at least it’s bringing out some unique results. Ma Loute is like the offspring of Monty Python and Fellini, if they were cousins. Burlesque characters - degenerate aristocrats, hungry fishermen and a really obese police - surreal events and absolutely beautiful cinematography. Plus there is a genuine story about love, class differences - and eating.
It's amazing how the director uses many of the same themes and techniques from his serious films to fine effect in this madcap comedy. Of course it wouldn't be a Dumont film if there weren't some dark edges amongst the absurdity.
In 'Slack Bay', Bruno Dumont creates a unique world of its own. And there aren't a lot of moviemakers able to do that nowadays. This world is totally transgressive and unpolitically correct. I can't imagine this film to be hated. It's essential cinema, it's a cinema worth fighting for. Strongly recommended.
Digital. Tired of being a Bresson emulator, with mediocre or limited results, Dumont transports his ominous vision of the human into the minefield of the burlesque, after the twist of his previous film, equally much appreciated. And what do we have? A primary accumulation of effects, from actors to digital effects, desperately seeking to find the sublime of/in the grotesque. Not funny and unable.