Table Manners


‘You, the Living’

[Editor’s note: As part of our “Fifty Days, Fifty Lists” project, we offer a list of five films featured in the “Happy Holidays” ode-to-the-table video below, and a Keyframe-quoted reason for watching them. For more lists, see “Why Lists?” here on Keyframe.]

1. Los bastardos, Amat Escalante (2008) “Arriving under the star of Bruno Dumont and Carlos Reygadas (a co-producer), Amat Escalante’s Los bastardos (2008) is a creepy-crawly art-film bad time, but we don’t really know how bad until the end,” says Michael Atkinson. “Before that, the movie is a bolero of uneasiness and dread, and we’re never sure if the marriage between menace and Dumont-style comatosity will ever be consummated.”

2. Cousin Jules, Dominique Beniqueti (1972) “The secret” to making the preparation of vegetables at the table worthy of the many minutes of screen time it gets in this lost-and-found classic, writes Steven Erickson, is in the art. “If Bresson and Tati introduced modernism to the French cinema’s soundscapes, Benicheti picked up the baton.”

3. Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos (2009) “Dogtooth is a perverse thrill of a movie, the work of a dirty old/young mind that Luis Buñuel might envy,” writes Steven C. Boone. “Lanthimos gives devilish riffs on absurd social norms. Every shot in the film seems to encompass its own strange widescreen universe, but they mischievously congeal to tell the story of parents so repressive and children so socially underdeveloped (yet physically fulsome), that the simplest everyday encounters tick like time bombs.”

4. You, the Living, Roy Andersson (2007) “In the blackness, there is comedy—and very richly so,” writes Adrian Martin. “There is more than a touch of Jacques Tati in the cinema of Swedish master Roy Andersson—particularly in the ‘mature period’ inaugurated by Songs from the Second Floor (2000) and continued by You, the Living.”

5. Silent Light, Carlos Reygadas (2007) The ever enigmatic Reygadas, writes Anna Tatarksa, “specializes in the mysteries of transgression,” and Silent Light finds lust in the most unexpected quarters.


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