The Greek film Dogtooth has openend quietly around the world but resounded with a cacophanous bang. Hellenic auteur Lanthimos' new film is provocative, offensive, monotonous, daring, mundane and explosive. It incites all these adjectives simultaneously, in it's deadpan, creepy take on experimental family dynamics, sexuality and fascism.
That it inspired a following of edge hungry hipsters on the East and West coasts is no surprise, really. It caters to the shockhouse artsnobs as well as the discerning intellectuals, the adventuresome xenocentric filmgoers and the random raincoat pervs. Any which way you look at it, Lanthimos has a fierce voice that cannot be ignored. He takes inspiration from the midnight movie shockhouse, paying pathological homage to both Michael Haneke and Harmony Korine.
Although it is populated with many scenes that drag and go nowhere, the sheer nastiness and unbroken awe of many of its images and sequences is undeniable. It's surprising that a film this outre made it into the final five Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language Film.
Whether it is a good film or a bad one is entirely up to you.