Friday, September 27, 2013

Julien Donkey-Boy

Director Harmony Korine has currently been in the spotlight for his most recent film, Spring Breakers. I wasn't crazy about that film, but I really enjoyed the production of the film, and thought it had a very unique look to it. After doing some research, I found out that most of his old films are all experimental; Gummo, Mister Lonely, Trash Humpers, etc. One of his films that got my attention was Julien Donkey Boy, a story about a schizophrenic boy in a rather disturbed family.

It was filmed on a MiniDV Tape recorder, transfered onto 16mm film, and then blown up to 35mm film. The end result is a grainy, distorted picture. I found that it both drew me into the film and made it difficult to watch, which left me feeling rather out of place while watching it. In my opinion, that is exactly where the director wanted the viewer to be. The film's score is as disturbing as some of the footage looks; loud opera music that goes in and out of high volume and ends suddenly. There are a lot of jump cuts and still photos used in the film, which is something you rarely see these days, and something that took a while to get used to.

These effects together created the work of art that is Julien Donkey-Boy. It makes you almost feel schizophrenic just by watching it, the fogginess makes you unsure of what you are looking at, voices seem to appear out of nowhere, and memories only come through in pieces. If you are interested in experimental films, in both the way they are filmed and subject matter, I would highly recommend this film.

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