julien donkey-boy

I'm one of the 10% who found Korine's first feature Gummo a masterpiece. The other 90% of those who watched it thought it was utter garbage. If you fall into the latter category, bypass this review.

julien donkey-boy is Korine's riff on the strict Danish "Dogme 95" rules of filmmaking: handheld camera, only available lighting, no post production sound effects, etc. It results in a messy, occasionally brilliant, but often blah collage of digital video imagery that follows around a New Jersey schizophrenic (the titular julien, played by Trainspotting's Ewen Bremner) and his dysfunctional family.

Chloe Sevigny is good, as always, as his pregnant sister (assumedly knocked up by julien) and German director Werner Herzog is absolutely hilarious as their deadpan tyrant father. Definitely more of an art piece than typical multiplex fodder, there is a lot of good stuff going on here, but it never matches the cohesiveness or the depth of Gummo - and frankly, although Bremner may be doing a realistic take on a hyperactive, babbling schizophrenic, it doesn't make him any less annoying. Several intriguing scenes are often ruined by his actorly histrionics.