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Twentynine Palms

Reviewed By Greg Muskewitz
Posted 02/02/04 02:42:36

"Limits of stamina."
2 stars (Pretty Crappy)

Scenes without a story; in other words, a free-flowing non-narrative from Bruno Dumont, which follows a pair (David Wissak, hiding behind a grass skirt of hair, and Katia Golubeva, no less sexually exposed here than in Pola X) in their Hummer to 29 Palms for Dieu-sait-pourqoui.

Mostly, it seems, the tripís goal is to fuck in the desert with no evident connection to tanning their white fannies. (Golubeva isnít fully awake until she can pop a squat in the sand; Wissak isnít allowed to watch, but we are.) Aside from fucking (when it doesnít go wrong, that is; Golubeva to Wissak while trying to enter from behind: ďIím too dry, my loveĒ), they also fight often for no apparent reason, although it allows Katia to show off in an unbroken close-up how well she can break down, quivering chin and all. Consisting predominantly of static shots, it minimally displays Dumontís half-cocked compositional skills ó the desert or motel room scenery, Katia floating in a swimming pool in a palm treeís shadow ó but he often takes the unrewarding position of backseat spectator on their dusty sojourns while quirky Japanese music plays on the stereo. Apart from the various choices of sex (on the bed, on the rocks, from behind, face-fucking, man-on-man anal rape, all usually consummated by laughable come tantrums), thereís not much else going on. Itís billed as an erotic horror film, which neither title properly describes, though its moment of shock or horror is apposite in multiple ways to Fat Girl and Trouble Every Day ó and not only because of their revelations. I appreciated the other two films far more, mostly because they had an underlying point or skill that didnít just hinge on its moment-of-cringe, but the overall challenge here seems to be an endurance test for the audience. With two breaks in the film during its screening, at least half of the audience lost their stamina.

[See it if you must.]

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