Has Bruno Dumont been discussed here?
La Vie de Jesus
Raw, difficult films, some more successful than others. And I would offer, a master at landscape. (Twentynine Palms seemed to me ill-conceived, and a failure, but each of the others intrigues, particularly his first two.) Bresson has been evoked as an influence (non-actors; Dostoyevsky etc.). But I think more of the young Bellocchio …
Can we talk about them all?
I’ve only seen LA VIE DE JESUS, and that very recently (when the Masters of Cinema DVD came out, in fact), but that impressed me enough to trigger a mental note to track down the others when I get a moment. The Bresson comparison seems spot on – it would make a perfect (if somewhat wrist-slittingly depressing) double bill with MOUCHETTE.
I just watched Twentynine Palms (first film I’ve seen by him). I could not take away my eyes from the screen at any one point in time. I was completely mesmerized. The performances in the film feel felt so real that I felt like I was the main character. There was so much truth to this film. Completely stripped down. I can’t wait to watch it again and take notes! Though many of the reviews and talks about this film revolve around the ending sequence I think the film as a whole is completely amazing and that was not even the element that most stood out to me. Twentynine Palms should be in the auteurs! I just added La Vie de Jesus to the top of my queue. I plan on watching the rest of his films very very soon. I recently dwelled into the world of Bresson as well and completely fell in love with L’argent and Mouchette. I also just recently saw Love and Anger and Bellochio’s segment was the perfect way to end it. I can’t believe the performances that these non trained actors can give. It truly blows me away. The performances in all these films I just mentioned are one of the most amazing factors in them. It seems that actors are so trained that they do not how to act real, they can’t be real humans just actors.
Does anyone have any thoughts on the similarities between L’Humanite and La Vie De Jesus?
^Does anyone have any thoughts on the similarities between L’Humanite and La Vie De Jesus?*
Jesus was grounded in a very insular space/time continuum, leading everybody to think that Dumont was the new Bresson. But then L’Humainte begins to break this by having his protagonist (from the inside) participate in an investigation of his community from the outside. Twenty-Nine Palms uses profesional actors in a setting which Dumont is an alien in. And then I stopped watching Dumont films.
“And then I stopped watching Dumont films.”
You should start again. You’ve been missing out.
My favourite from Dumont is Twentynine Palms. I think it’s the kind of movie that either you really like it or you hate it. The overall feeling of the movie is haunting and that’s why I really appreciated it. I liked La vie de Jesus. I like his use of really interesting looking actors. I didn’t get Flandres at all. Hadewijch was alright, the end wasn’t really satisfying.
I first learned about Dumont when I was digging through the new french extremity (the reason why I saw Twentynine Palms first). Maybe that’s why I didn’t like the softer Flandres and Hadewijch.
I still have to see l’Humanité.
I agree with Marc Twentynine Palms is chilling. The framing of the landscape makes the environment feel incredibly hostile the hole way through and Dumont does a great job of transfering this unease to the viewer.
Have to get my hands on the rest of his films soon.
I’ve only discovered him over the past couple of years, but I think he’s brilliant. i wouldn’t be surprised if he had some sort of Haneke-style breakthrough eventually. He seems to be ridiculously underrated/under-seen.
L’Humanite blew me away when I saw it. I’m amazed by directors who can make ‘nothing’ so compelling. Just utterly gripping the whole way through. Amazing performances (and extremely committed for ‘amateurs’- I don’t think many stars would go to the same lengths as these actors do). The ending is devastating, and once you notice something minor, very disturbing.
Flanders and Twentynine Palms were very good, although I can kinda see Jerry Johnson’s point about filmmakers entering into alien settings.
One of the interviews with him on the extras says his style of filmmaking is derived from his work as a director of industrial videos, and it completely makes sense. Very odd though.
His new film Hors Satan is showing at the London Film Festival, so i’ll try and get to that.
The only film of his i’ve seen is Hadewijch which i liked but didn’t love. How representative of his style is it? It’s less ‘extreme’ than his earlier work i take it?
I really want to see L’Humanite.
I echo the sentiment of Bruno being ridiculously underrated and underseen. One of the secret gems of modern cinema.
Typically wouldn’t put Hadewijch as the first film you should see if you hadn’t seen any before. Content wise it’s fairly similar, but I wouldn’t say it’s a great representation of his work as a whole. If you want a clear idea, then watch L’Humanite.
I’ve seen all except for Outside Satan. I’d place them in this order of appreciation:
Camile Claudel, 1915
The Life of Jesus
Twenty Nine Palms
Easily my favorite director working now.
It’s less ‘extreme’ than his earlier work i take it?
Dumont is good for one explicit fuck scene per film, but with the exception of Twenty Nine Palms, there’s nothing that “extreme” about his work. Definitely check out Life of Jesus.
^^Will do M, thanks.
I’m going to watch L’Humanite first though.
heh – the one to watch first is Twenty Nine Palms.
I’m sure every one would disagree, but it is, stylistically, his seminal mature work.
From that perspective, the rest make more sense in their degree of extremity.
I keep meaning to dive into this dude’s catalogue. Twentynine Palms it is :)