Reviewed at first US screening – Rendevous with French Cinema NYC March 2007.

Don’t you just hate when… (spoilers ahead BUT being that most of you won’t see this film, read anyway)

Don’t you just hate when a promising director that you’ve been keeping your eyes on, just keeps getting worse and worse?  Damn it!! I loved “La Vie de Jésus.”  Liked “L’Humanité.” Was embarrassed by “Twentynine Palms.” And am so disappointed with “Flandres.”

Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes!?!?!? He certainly has fooled the jury but he ain’t fooling me. C’mon Mr. Dumont!  Just because you are French, don’t think you can get away with characters with no back-story, no motivations behind their actions, no …well… characterization.

Farm boy with slut girlfriend goes to war and comes home to finally show his love… that’s the plot.

War scenes are contrived… goes with every “war is hell” cliche we know.  Killing children, gang rape, losing buddies, etc, etc… it’s like an unrealistic, French version of “Deer Hunter” meets “Casualties of War.”  These days we see scenes from “Saving Private Ryan” and “Children of Men” in which battle scenes are visceral masterpieces…. so Dumont’s static camera seems so staged.. beyond staged.

So there is this one scene in which the one guy who doesn’t rape this women gets captured and castrated… as he is walking around holding his bloody crotch, he says “But, I didn’t do anything!!!”  C’mon!!!  What a blatant statement on France’s involvement with Iraq. Â

Cinematography is gorgeous..especially the French countryside stuff… shot by Yves Cape (“Ma Vie En Rose”, “L’Humanité”)..although I wish he would work with Philippe Van Leeuw (“La Vie de Jésus”) again.

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No Responses to “Flandres”

  1. Eros Welker says:

    Wait, what does this have to do with Ned Flanders?

  2. Lekker Ding says:

    I had a feeling this would suck.  He frustrates the hell out of me.  Go see “The Lives of Others”.  It’s well worth your time.  I will post a review as soon as I get out of Denver.