Dogtooth

(2009)

Genres: Drama

Hot & Now: I Vinti / Dogtooth

Transcript for Hot & Now: I Vinti / Dogtooth

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Well, now it’s time for our “HOT & NOW’ segment where we get to make our picks on movies you can watch right now on your computer, Video on Demand or DVD. 

We've taken a look at two films this week -- SUPER and IN A BETTER WORLD -- that are both about why characters commit acts of violence, so I thought that I'd pick out a movie that, to me, is one of the most unsettling studies of violence in film history. It's almost sixty years old, but it's never been released in this country before now. It's called I VINTI -- or, THE VANQUISHED -- and it's an early, ambitious film by Michelangelo Antonioni.

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IGNATIY:
I VINTI consists of three unrelated episodes, each one in a different country and language -- the first in France, the second in Italy and the third in England. Each section centers on a young man being involved in a senseless murder. The circumstances and methods change, but I VINTI's critical eye towards modern life remains the same. Antonioni once described himself as "an archaeologist," and in I VINTI he seems to be looking at Europe in the 1950s as though he were trying to understand the violent rituals of a ruined civilization. 

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IGNATIY:
The film has just been released by a company called Raro Video. I highly recommend this DVD, which includes "Attempted Suicide," a similarly-themed short he made the same year.     

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Ok, my Hot and Now pick is "Dogtooth," which I am so excited to talk about, just because it'll be a fun little challenge to try to explain it to you.  Now, earlier in the show, we talked about "In a Better World," which won the foreign-language Oscar this year. "Dogtooth," from Greece, was also nominated in the category. And I thought that was so incredibly cool because it is such a weird movie and such a daring choice.

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CHRISTY:
"Dogtooth" is about a family that has isolated itself from the outside world -- a father, a mother, two girls and a boy. They play psychologically twisted games and have developed their own language, using the wrong words for things. The father is the only one who's allowed to leave the house -- he goes to the factory where he works, and sometimes brings back a woman to have sex with his teenage son.  And seriously? We haven't even gotten to the most disturbing stuff yet.

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CHRISTY:
Director Giorgos Lanthimos is clearly trying to provoke us, but he presents these acts and these settings in the most austere, nonjudgmental way, which makes them even more striking. I'm not sure I know what his point is, I’m not even going to pretend, but he kept me guessing, and I was riveted the whole time. "Dogtooth" is truly an original, and it's out this week on DVD.

IGNATIY:
Well, we may not agree on In a Better World, but I think that we can both agree that we would rather have seen that win the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

CHRISTY:
That would have been awesome, I would have loved that.