Man Bites Dog (Criterion Collection) (S) (Widescreen) product details page

Man Bites Dog (Criterion Collection) (S) (Widescreen)

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Kitted out with the shoestring realism of a black-and-white mockumentary and a lot of over-the-top media satire, C'est Arrive Pres de Chez Vous manages to invert serial-killer clichés by focusing on the banality of murder itself. Instead of the picturesque boogeymen of Silence of the Lambs or Seven, we get Benoit Poelvoorde's loquacious, charming, and workmanlike Ben, who treats killing like any other enjoyable, but difficult job and dispatches kids, grannies, and young lovers equally matter-of-factly. Poelvoorde and his fellow writer/director/actors, Remy Belvaux and Andre Bonzel, invest their film with a bleached-out squalor that's partially a function of camcorder cinema and partially the result of their wittily depraved script. With a face and demeanor that recalls James Woods at his cold-blooded best and a character so blasé about his chosen profession that he's almost likable in a sick, twisted way, Poelvoorde is the only one of the filmmaker/performers who really registers onscreen. Like the real-life media functionaries who daily chew up reality into tabloid gruel, the others exist on the periphery, omnipresent shadows flickering across the colorful depravities they serve up as entertainment. C'est Arrive Pres de Chez Vous is a distinctly unpleasant film to watch, but its quotidian monstrosity is eerily accurate. Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide