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Review: Dogtooth

Both absurd and creepy
By PETER KEOUGH  |  February 24, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

 

Home schooling takes a hit in Greek director Giorgos Lanthimos's bizarre, chilling parable. A nameless father (Christos Stergioglou) and mother (Michele Valley) have isolated their three teenage children on their estate, sealing them off from any contamination from the outside world. And that includes language — the kids are drilled with tapes redefining troublesome words. ("Excursion," for example, means "flooring material.")

A woman (Anna Kalaitzidou) brought in to provide the boy (Hristos Passalis) with robotic sex poses a potential threat to this system; among other breaches in security, she introduces the all-too-appropriate word "zombie" (which means "small yellow flower," according to the mother).

Dogtooth is at its most sublimely absurd when the parents are interpreting phenomena like passing airplanes or Frank Sinatra's recording of "Come Fly with Me"; it's at its best when it hovers between the trauma of Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salò and the creepiness of Michael Haneke's The Seventh Continent.

  Topics: Reviews , Michael Haneke, Pier Paolo Pasolini, zombie,  More more >
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[ 07/24 ]   "Graphic Design: Now in Production,"  @ RISD Museum
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