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Bruno Dumont (1958 - )

Related: French cinema - director

Twentynine Palms (2003) - Bruno Dumont [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

THE CONVULSIVE VIOLENCE OF BRUNO DUMONT'S NEW FILM Twentynine Palms (2003)--a truck ramming and a savage male rape, a descent into madness followed by a frenzied knifing and suicide, all crammed into the movie's last half hour after a long, somnolent buildup--has dismayed many, particularly those who greeted Dumont's first two features, Life of Jesus (1997) and L'Humanite (1999), as the work of a true heir to Bresson. Whether Pahns' paroxysm of violation and death signals that Dumont is borrowing the codes of Hollywood horror films to further his exploration of body and landscape or whether it merely marks a natural intensification of the raw, dauntless corporeality of his previous films, it nevertheless elicits an unintentional anxiety: that Dumont, once imperiously impervious to fashion, has succumbed to the growing vogue for shock tactics in French cinema over the past decade. --James Quandt, Flesh & Blood: Sex and Violence in Recent French Cinema (2004) via artforum


Bruno Dumont (born 1958, Bailleul, France) is a French film director. He has directed three feature films, which border somewhere between realistic drama and avant-garde. His film L'humanite won several awards at the Cannes film festival in 1999, including the Grand Prize of the Jury.

Dumont has a background of philosophy. His films often show extreme violence and sexual behaviour, and are usually classified as "art films". Dumont has himself likened his films to visual arts, and he typically uses long shots, close-ups of people's bodies and storylines involving extreme emotions. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Dumont [Nov 2005]

Twentynine Palms (2003) - Bruno Dumont

Genres: Drama, Horror
Plot Synopsis: David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave Los Angeles, en route to the southern California desert, where they search a natural set to use as a backdrop for a magazine photo shoot. They find a motel in the town of Twentynine Palms and spend their days in their sport-utility vehicle, discovering the Joshua Tree Desert, and losing themselves on nameless roads and trails. Frantically making love all the time and almost everywhere, they regularly fight, then kiss and make up, with little else going on in their empty relationship and quite ordinary daily life--until something horrible and hideous brutally puts an end to their trip.

Plot Keywords: Surreal | Disturbing | Explicit Sex | Car Chase | Desert | Female Nudity | Human Relations | Male Nudity | Orgasm | Sex Scene | Swimming Pool | Human Nature |

No one can accuse director Bruno Dumont of taking the easy road. Dumont's Life of Jesus and L'Humanite are fascinating, but they test the comfort zone of even the most devoted art-house maven. Twentynine Palms serves up more of Dumont's uncompromising rigor, this time set in America. A couple scout locations in the desert around Joshua Tree, and spend most of their time fighting or having sex. The frankness of the director's approach to sex does not prepare one for the shock of the truly bleak final reels. This Last Tango in Zabrieskie Point has a lulling, creepy power before it reaches those shocks, although actors David Wissak and Katia Golubeva are perhaps not as compelling as Dumont wants them to be. Of course, he's showing empty people traversing one of the emptiest places on earth--so maybe it fits. In any case, this film will shake you if you stick with it. --Robert Horton

Product Description:
From Bruno Dumont, one of the leading visionaries of world cinema, comes Twentynine Palms, a mesmerizing story of love, sex and evil set deep in the Joshua Tree desert. While scouting for a photo shoot location, an American photographer (David Wissak) and his Russian/French girlfriend (Katia Golubeva) spend their days engaging in impassioned fights, hasty reconciliations and frequent bouts of sex, until a shocking act of desperation leads to an unforeseen and brutal climax. --via Amazon.com

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