Julien Donkey-boy

on October 08, 1999 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
   The idiotic Danish Dogme '95 movement, which supposedly restores "purity" to the cinema by eschewing artificial light and incidental music, has come to America. And if you thought Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration" was ridiculous, you haven't seen Harmony Korine's "Julien Donkey-Boy." The grotesque title gives you some idea of what you're in for, but it can't really prepare you for the movie, which centers around mentally disturbed Julien ("Trainspotting's" Ewen Bremner), his pregnant sister Pearl (Chloe Sevigny) and their tyrannical father (German director Werner Herzog). There's more, but it's almost impossible to decipher the film's scenes through Korine's horribly grainy and unfocused camera work. "Julien Donkey-Boy" really is an excuse to let Korine go nuts with his jerky video camera as he stitches together a series of completely unrelated and utterly vapid sequences. Straight to video is too good a fate for this unmitigated disaster.    Starring Ewen Bremner, Chloe Sevigny and Werner Herzog. Directed and written by Harmony Korine. Produced by Scott Macaulay, Robin O'Hara and Cary Woods. A Fine Line release. Drama. Rated R for language, some sexuality, and disturbing images. Running time: 98 min.
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