The Misconception of Perception
Not all prison films involve escape and not all escape films involve prisons, even if we may assume that a prison film will involve people trying to free themselves, and most films that aren't about incarcerative institutions will have no reason to adopt aspects of the prison narrative. We use prison films here in the broad sense to include not just Escape From Alcatraz, A Man Escaped, Le Trou, Bronson, A Sense of Freedom, Hunger, Cool Hand Luke, Midnight Express, and Papillon, but also POW and concentration camp films too, The Colditz Story, The Great Escape, Sobibor, Life is Beautiful and Schindler's List. However, if all the films are predicated on imprisonment they don't automatically take for granted the necessity of escape. Some do; some don't, with A Man Escaped and Le trou brilliant examples of the intricacies involved in springing oneself from jail. Others rely on sublimation or sacrifice: A Sense of Freedom shows Jimmy Boyle eventually finding a purpose in art and in Hunger Bobby Sands will die on hunger strike. An escape is not a necessary condition of the prison film.
However what prison films often propose is that the world is dichotomous, between the freedom outside and the oppression inside, and such a belief can hide the sort of ideology that differentiates between hard and soft power, between institutions that clearly impose and others that merely coerce. It is why the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser insisted on differentiating The Ideological State Apparatus from the Repressive State Apparatus, with the former the general practice of soft power and the latter reliant on more forceful means. Under soft power we can include schooling, family, religion. Then we have the Repressive State Apparatus of the army, the police, the judiciary, and the prison system. The former provides an individual "with categories in which she can recognize herself. Inasmuch as a person does so and embraces the practices associated with those institutions, she has been successfully "hailed" or "interpellated" and recognized herself as that subject who does those kinds of things."(Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy) We will have more to say about the Althusserian later on and in the context of Brecht and aesthetic distanciation, but we can see here how Althusser like many a post-war philosopher (Marcuse, Deleuze/ Guattari, Lyotard and others) wants to turn Freud against himself and generate a possible liberation out of soft-power oppression. For Freud, the purpose of the superego was to give to the person the beginnings of a moral conscience, to understand the appropriate way to act without allowing the superego to become so ferociously self-critical that the individual will become neurotic and stunted in their development. "Mental health very much depends on the super-ego's being normally developed that is, on its having become sufficiently impersonal." (Two Short Accounts of Psycho-Analysis) But what if that impersonality is insufficient for generating a society that doesn't create manifold neurosis? If Freud would generally assume the individual has been unable to turn their superego into a healthy conscience, Althusser and others wondered whether the problem was partly based on a suffocating individuality that didn't entertain enough others and society more broadly. RD Laing reckoned that in Freud's work, "instead of the original bond of I and You, we take a single man in isolation and conceptualize his various aspects into 'the ego', 'the superego', and 'the id'. How can we speak in any way adequately of the relationship between me and you in terms of the interaction of one mental apparatus and another?" (The Divided Self) In this context, we can see that for Althusser The Ideological State Apparatus may save the state a lot of money as it is much cheaper to get people to believe in a set of values over incarcerating them and paying the equivalent each year of a high-end private boarding school education. (Eton and Her Majesty's Prison both cost over 40,000.) But what if those values which are more benignly imposed aren't of much use to many of those who have absorbed them? It may have kept them out of prison but it might not have made them very happy. They have swapped visible incarceration for its invisible manifestation.
Let us neither exaggerate nor get too lost in the theoretical while trying to explore the cinematic. Yet to understand Yorgos Lanthimos's Dogtooth it may be helpful to comprehend a smidgeon of theory, to see that Lanthimos's film is a provocative account of soft-power turned very neurotic indeed as the father of the house has kept his three kids in complete captivity since the day they were born. They haven't even learned to use language properly, with the parents teaching the children that words have meanings which have nothing to do with their general use in the world beyond the family environment. A sea is a leather armchair, a motorway a very strong wind and a carbine a beautiful white bird. This is Alice in Wonderland territory, the father a Humpty-Dumpty of parental authority. Lanthimos takes much farther society's capacity for euphemism and turns it into absurdity. We can all think of examples where language is utilised, and often by the state to remove its belligerence or harshness: defence rather than the weapons industry; a correctional facility rather than a prison, the adult industry rather than pornography. There is also idiomatic language that can seem absurd to a person who doesn't know the language well: a different kettle of fish; kick the bucket or costing an arm and a leg. There are others strange even to those who speak English fluently. Cockney has rhyming slang: apples and pairs for stairs, bottle and stopper for copper; merry-go-round for pound. How far into the idiosyncratic and insular can language go? If Humpty-Dumpy can make words mean whatever he wants them to mean, and Cockneys can use words in a way familiar to other East End Londoners but that sounds like nonsense to everybody else, why can't a father create a familially specific language for his kids? This is the ultimate in home-schooling; so far away from the national curriculum that it enters the pedagogically surreal.
The father (Christos Stergioglou) also creates about as agreeable an environment for the kids as they could hope for; at least if the comparison is the horrifying Fritzl basement, where Josef Fritzl kept his daughter locked up for decades in the Austrian district of Amstetten. It looks more like a Big Brother compound, with a large garden to play in and a pool to swim in. At the beginning of the film, the father brings in a security worker, Christina (Anna Kalaitzidou) from the factory he runs to service the now fully grown-up son, Martin (Christos Passalas). Let it not be said he isn't thinking of his children's needs; a facetious response but one that better catches the film's tone than a too insistent need to attend to the horror of the situation. Lanthimos's provocation rests on seeing this as the nuclear family at its most protective; that here is a father who will do anything to make sure his children are safe and well looked after. In a scene shortly before, the youngest of his two daughters (Mary Tsoni) discuss a game the three siblings could play where they stick their finger in the hot water tap and see how long they can last. It is the concern of bored children whiling away the long summer holidays except now it is adults who know no world beyond the parameter fence. In a fine article on the film, Mark Fisher invokes Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills but cautions the viewer against allegory: "these are not adult actors in the roles of children; the strangeness is of another kind. The actors are playing adults who in all respects except physical maturation have not been able to grow up. The actors do a marvelously unsettling job in capturing the semi-autism of childrentheir only partial mastery of emotional literacy, their sudden bursts of violence, their competitiveness, their unguarded affectionand the disturbing discrepancy between physical and behavioral maturity is a main cause of the constant feeling of unease that Dogtooth generates." (Film Quarterly)
The unease Dogtooth generates is partly that of a comedy which isn't funny; as though the absurd isn't there to poke fun at the family environment but more to pick holes in it: to see that from a certain perspective all familial and societal structures are potentially coercive. It is a point the radically left-wing Fisher (best known for Capitalist Realism) offers when discussing Stockholm Syndrome. Speaking of another terrible Austrian case, where Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped aged ten and kept in her captor's cellar, Fisher says when Kampusch showed sympathy for her captor this indicated she was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, a term of course first used to describe hostage and kidnapping situations where the victims showed compassion or understanding towards their captors. Fisher says: "couldn't a child's feelings of sympathy and love toward its parents be the result of just the same psychological mechanisms? What, after all, is the difference between Stockholm Syndrome and the primary socialization undertaken by the family supposed to be? One answer to this might be that, while the family typically produces neurotic normalization (or worse), Stockholm Syndrome can induce a revolutionary subjectivitya process that Paul Schrader explored in his 1988 film, Patty Hearst: Her Own Story, about the heiress turned militant." (Film Quarterly).
Imagine, Dogtooth proposes, not so much that it is a conceit but that the family itself happens to be: that the family unit is so oppressive an environment that the best genre to explore it in would be something close to the prison drama. Lanthimos says, "I was wondering about family life and parenting in general and if the way we think about it would ever really change...But I had a conversation with some friends one day, and I was making fun about the fact that two of them were getting married and having children..." He adds "But although I was obviously just joking, all of a sudden they got extremely defensive about what I had said. This made me realise how someone I knew and who I would never have expected to react that way freaks out when you mess about with his family. And that's how I got the initial idea about this man who would go to extremes to protect his family." (Electric Sheep) If the film were funnier it might have been a comedy about family life but instead it comes across more as a critique of it, constantly finding ways to offer a lateral look at familial expectation. At one stage the family are having dinner and the father asks what they would like for the evening's entertainment. Martin reckons a video, which turns out to be a film of the family recording themselves only weeks or months before. The younger daughter quotes the dialogue as if they are watching a much-loved film, Now Voyager or Casablanca. The film takes the notion of the home movie that is usually watched many years later as a family fondly looks back, and focuses instead on the recent past, and takes the idea of a family's evening entertainment putting on a video only for it to be not a family video but a video of the family. The scene isn't funny but it is disturbing.
One uses the term disturbing to invoke no more than its original definition: to throw into disorder, and we can link it as well to the distanciation or alienation-effect that Brecht and others utilised and that RD Laing insists upon. For Brecht "it involves the use of techniques designed to distance the audience from emotional involvement in the play through jolting reminders of the artificiality of the theatrical performance." However, "Brecht conceived the alienation effect not only as a specific aesthetic program but also as a political mission of the theatre." (Britannica) The distanciation Brecht demanded on the stage, Laing would have seen as a condition of life. Laing says for many people their lives have been a pretence: speaking of the 'unreal man' he says "his whole life has been torn between his desire to reveal himself and his desire to conceal himself. We all share this problem with him and have all arrived at a more or less satisfactory solution." (The Divided Self) Do we arrive at this solution existentially or behaviourally, however; do we see it as a process of self-illumination or social imposition is it a set of values we find or a social expectation met? Clearly, it is often a combination, or can at least seem to be, and even if one were to accept that our lives are the consequence of constant coercions, then there are degrees to which these coercions are applied. The person in the private school isn't coerced in quite the same way as the person in prison, which is why one would fall under the Repressive State Apparatus and the other the Ideological State Apparatus in Althusserian terms. What Brecht's work wished to show was that if theatre could be used as part of that soft power as part of that process of ideological persuasion, then it needed to make the viewer aware of the nature of that persuasiveness by insisting the work be self-reflexive and distancing. "We now come to one of those elements that are peculiar ro the epic theatre, the so-called A-effect (alienation effect). What is involved here is, briefly, a technique of taking the human social incidents to be portrayed and labelling them as something striking, something that calls for explanation, is not to be taken for granted, not just natural." (Brecht on Theatre) If ideology is constructed, and if the arts usually use ideology unconsciously, then the purpose of theatre according to Brecht is to make it conscious and thus make the ideological conscious as well. Soft power may work less successfully if one is aware of how it is working upon us, while of course hard power isn't going to pretend otherwise.
Part of the eccentricity in Lanthimos's film is that it wants to show the family is soft power as irrational force. The father will literally do anything to protect his family, even if that includes protecting them from sense itself. Better an insular nonsense than a sensible world full of dangers, even if most of the dangers the kids feel they would be inclined to face are figments of their parents' imaginations. At one moment, Martin stands over a small house cat with a pair of gardening shears and plunges them into the unsuspecting feline. It is what happens when you have a father who convinces you of the dangers beyond the fence and when one of those perceived dangers gets inside. The cat is deemed the most terrifying and when at work the father is told of Martin's deed, he doesn't use this as an opportunity to set the kids right but to exacerbate the wrong. He tears away at the clothes he is wearing and pours red ink all over his shirt, hands and face. He comes home and tells them that their brother (who escaped or left home) is dead too; that a creature similar to the one killed in the garden attacked him and uses it as a very good reason why the others should stay where they are. The brother ...made a huge mistake venturing out ill-prepared." The film doesn't even attempt to make the father's ruse plausible: he stands there like a clown who has misapplied his make-up, with his balding head and the hair on the sides looking like it has received an electric shock. It wouldn't persuade the most gullible of children but these young adults aren't children they are arrested adults, three people who have been told from an early age that their world is limited by a parental authority that is more than absolute: it is ludicrous. To see through this particular ruse would be to unravel a world of intricate deceit that cannot be done without at least partially believing in the world the parents have created to escape it. It is why near the end of the film the older daughter (Angeliki Papoulia) doesn't just try and leave: she first tries to hammer out her dogtooth. According to family lore, a child can leave when their dogtooth falls out, and so there we see her in the bathroom, in front of the mirror, slamming a dumbbell against the side of her face determined to extract the tooth. She stands there smiling, a large gap on the side of her open mouth. It is the first stage of emancipation but what makes it so absurd is that it is even more part of her incarceration; that she must believe first in the parental brainwashing to instigate her escape.
Vital to the provocation of Dogtooth, and why we have couched it within the context of the prison drama, is that while the prisoner often merely has to escape the hard power of the institution, the elder sister is fighting a greater internalised force than many may be facing, since she doesn't quite know where the oppression resides. A common enough trope in the prison drama is the person who has to suffer pain as they escape: Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman) breaking an ankle after climbing over the prison wall in Papillon, the appalling sunburn, blisters and so on that the escapees from a Siberian prison suffer from in The Way Back. But the pain is the consequence of reality not a consequence of failing to understand it. The incarceration is clear and the sort of risks involved in escape clear too. But in Dogtooth, if we invoke the prison escape drama it is wise to do so aware of the fundamental difference between the Repressive State Apparatus and the Ideological State Apparatus. In most prison dramas the characters are incarcerated by a coherent regime of power. if they can spring out of jail there is no ideological haunting to their escape; they have freed themselves from oppression. Even if they have been wrongly imprisoned that still leaves in place the certitude of their circumstances while in Dogtooth the point is the characters won't know the nature of their imprisonment and part of that need to escape will have to pass through their own absurd relationship with the world: hence the older sister's actions. Of course, if she can escape that is all she needs to do, but she doesn't know that: she has internalised her oppression so completely that even her attempt at freedom must incorporate an aspect of that tyranny.
It is partly why the film is absurd but not quite funny, as though Lanthimos wanted to offer analogous commentary over allegorical hilarity. Don't Look Up goes for the allegorically comedic as it muses over how the world (and especially the US) would react to a meteor approaching earth. It seeks the biggest of laughs within often the most modest of allegorical recontextualisations. Once the meteor replaces the climate, the film does very little work of defamiliarisation and the usual tropes are deployed. Many people act like there is nothing to worry about and it is all a hoax, the president insists her supporters go into denial (hence the title), and when a climate scientist goes on TV to warn of the impending destruction, the TV presenters are too caught up in their own banter to take the issue seriously. It doesn't help afterwards when the climate scientist goes off and sleeps with one of the presenters as it shows how quickly even the decent, the earnest and the dedicated can get caught up in the lure of the media. It is thus an allegorical comedy while Dogtooth constantly seeks new analogical possibilities. When the older sister is offered a headband if willing to offer Christina cunnilingus, she assumes the point of it all lies in licking an arbitrary part of the body and then later asks her sister to do it to her. The younger sister licks her shoulder as Lanthimos offers an amused take on erogenous zones. The older sister assumes that licking is the thing rather than the thing licked and we have a moment of incest that isn't really incestuous at all because of the misapplication of priorities. If the younger sister had massaged the older sister's clitoris with her hand this would have seemed a much more sexual act but that would have required the older sister to understand that for Christina the importance rested on clitoral stimulation and not licking. Obviously, erogenous zones are varied and licking often vital initself to sexual pleasure, but Lanthimos is more interested here in the misconception of perception, in how desire is constructed and how absurd it becomes when misconstrued. Later, when Christina asks her to do it again, the older sister talks of blackmailing Christina if she doesn't give her a couple of videotapes; she will tell her parents that "you told me to lick your keyboard down there." Here we have misconstruing the sexual act meeting the arbitrary nature of language.
One reason of course why the father can create new words for the vaginal area, the sea and the motorway, is that language is an imposition that succeeds based on mutual agreement. Carroll knew that and saw how ridiculous were Humpy-Dumpty's claims for an exclusive language. But a nonsensical remark it isn't quite a preposterous proposition. We can make words mean whatever we want them to mean because the relationship between the object in the world and the word we use to describe it isn't fundamentally linked. As Ferdinand de Saussure says: "the linguistic sign is arbitrary..." ('Nature of the Linguistic Sign') If as Saussure says, "all the individuals linguistically linked in the manner will establish among themselves a kind of mean; all of them will reproduce doubtless not exactly, but approximately the same signs linked to the same concepts", then this is "a social institution." ('The Object of Study'). It is this social institution the father and Humpty-Dumpty refuse, but while their refusal is ludicrous language allows it to be possible. However, Lanthimos wonders if this should be a source of humour or a source of anxiety; should we find licking someone's keyboard a good joke or a vertiginous realisation that we really can make language mean anything we wish it to mean if someone has enough power to shape language in the manner in which they wish to shape it. The father possesses this power with the environment he has created, and we can sense a tyrannical familial weight that is much greater than merely escaping the four walls of a prison. The kids would have to spring themselves too from an idiolectic cell, trying to find their way not just out the house and into town but also, once there, try and communicate with a language that would be like a defunct currency: a useless means of exchange.
Thinking here of the closing shot of the film we can see how far from humour Lanthimos is willing to travel to find the analogical. The older sister has escaped in the boot of the car and the father assumes she has escaped by other means. The film shows us the boot but it remains closed as the film ends. She might well find a way out of the boot but there is no reason why the film should show us that she does so because it wouldn't make for a satisfactory end to the film as a person escaping over a prison wall would. We are aware that while she may have found herself far away from the family home she is still inculcated with the values that are linguistic. Imagine, the film seems to say, that if in a prison drama you have only to escape a correctional facility, and in a family usually the moral strictures, here the elder sister has to find her way out of linguistic incarceration as well. "The whole idea started with the family and we realized later that it could be seen as whatever else. It could work as an allegory, which is a word I don't really like; I never think that way. It started off with, 'What's the future of the family going to be?' How can you narrow people's minds by educating themtelling them, 'this is the right thing, this is the wrong thing'?" (Rumpus) If the film opens with absurdity as the grown-up kids are taught words which have no bearing on their general meaning, at the end it arrives at impossibility, with the elder sister perhaps capable of finding her way out of the boot of a car but will find it far from easy to communicate with others.
By insisting that Lanthimos's film isn't a comedic allegory it rests partly on the constant defamiliarisation, the ongoing need to use the situations he generates to comment on how we come by familiarity. We know large things are small because they are far away but the kids think that a toy plane is the same size as the planes in the sky, and if they were to fall they would be the size of their hands. While these and other moments show the director interested in revealing how askew the characters' perceptual world happens to be, he is equally interested in making our perceptual faculties a little askew as well. After all, if a filmmaker insists on critiquing how the world can be presented other than with familiarity, then someone versed in, or at least working with the broader context of Brecht and structuralism, would feel a little obliged to create a visual field that would unsettle the viewer's world as well. With a few exceptions, the film works with the fixed frame and uses it all the better to create the opposite of an Alberti perspective. Frequently a head is out of shot, a character on the side of the frame rather than in the centre.
Such an approach has little to do with the deliberately haphazard aesthetic of wonderful Dogma films like Festen and The Idiots, where the camera plays catch me up with character and event. Instead, it is more the reverse: that the frame is set and the actors find their way into the frame. It might be where the father enters the fixed frame and the younger daughter is sitting on the couch. The camera is behind her head and the father's midriff is in the shot. Rather than reversing the angle and titling up, the camera stays where it is and the father crouches into the shot after he starts to speak. In the next scene, the older daughter stands by a window and all we see is her legs before she turns and sits down on the floor. If Dogma freed up the actors; Lanthimos creates new restrictions for them by insisting on the frame being paramount and the actor subordinate. It becomes another form of imprisonment, an incarceration within the shot that few filmmakers offer but where Lanthimos might be a little indebted to Robert Bresson, that great director of imprisonment.
But this Bressonian aspect wouldn't be the material limits placed upon the soul but the structural limits placed upon the individual. Imagine, Lanthimos, may have said, what sort of aesthetic would usefully capture a power structure that shows people's lives are limited, but are limited not due to wider society but the narrowness of the family. Numerous films of the sixties and seventies absorbed structuralism into their form as a societal and architectural reality, looking at the way buildings loomingly dwarfed individuals in films like The Parallax View, Illustrious Corpses and The Last Woman, and others proposed the difficulty of change unless the structures were comprehended rather than heroics assumed: Jancso films including The Round-Up, Red Psalm and The Red and the White. Yet Lanthimos wonders how these structures might work within the family environment and within an absurdist context and thus owes as much to Beckett, Ionesco, Pinter and others, seeing in the opportunity of the house the sort of fixity of location often more vital to theatre. Yet what Lanthimos brings to the problematic is the frame that contains its own preposterousness and a structuralism that becomes more suffocating. If it might seem that Lanthimos has come late to the party, it is more that he sees the party as entering a new phase of its development. The frame he offers contains a restrictiveness that shows a compression, a containment into a box that the frame of the film can offer. Film has always had the capacity to constrain characters within the limitations of its perspective but one of the achievements of commercial cinema is how it gives the impression of visual omniscience out of that partiality. A character moves out of the frame and the camera follows them; someone enters a building and the camera shows them going up the stairs. If the camera doesn't follow the character or the camera holds on the building and doesn't cut to the interior, we would start to feel the weight of the frame and the limitations of the camera. There is nothing new in saying this and many a great filmmaker has played with the presumption of visual omniscience. (No directors more so than Antonioni and Godard and nobody more facetiously than Warhol: who can beat an eight hour establishing shot of the Empire State Building?)
It is into this problematic Lanthimos wades and some might wonder if he has decided to take a dip while the tide is out: that film has moved on and this needn't be much of a problematic for the 21st century. But few films of the millennium have better caught what Ulrich Beck sees as the second wave of modernity, and we might reckon that vital to some of the questions we have thus far asked, concerning language, structuralism, the absurd and the restrictive use of camera, have usually been couched in the first wave. Interviewing Beck, Jeffrey Wimmer Thorsten Quandt say, "as a result of this process, society in the ''second modernity'' is no longer concerned with the distribution of power and wealth, but instead with the way it handles risks." ('Living in the Risk Society') The purpose of the father in Dogtooth is to have enough money to protect his family, to create for them a hyper-safe environment and the point for Lanthimos is to wonder how close everyone might be to this viewpoint no matter if hardly anybody is inclined to take it as far as the father in the film. Lanthimos reckoned, "because you're thinking about the future of families...should [the story] be placed in the future? But I abandoned that idea because I was more interested in the actual happenings of the family. I thought that the science fiction aspect would be an addition that would attract too much attention to creating a different world. Whereas I think this could work in any era. It's not science fictionit's more fundamental." (Rumpus)
If we are already in a modernity based on risk then there is little need to set it in the future; more important perhaps to lateralise the problem: to take an askew view of the present. If the film is funny without being that funny it rests on its symptomatic accuracy over its comedic precision. It wants less the schadenfreude of another's mishap than a recognition of one's own fearfulness and the lengths one will go to protect a notion of safety. If we have insisted on seeing the genre that Dogtooth most belongs to is the prison drama, rather than the comedy, this rests centrally on how closely linked safety and incarceration happen to be and how internalised that process can become. When Freud believed that the "this super-ego can confront the ego and treat it like an object; and it often treats it very harshly" (Two Short Accounts of Psycho-Analysis), we might wonder about the scene when the older sister smashes her tooth out with the dumbbell. Yet this isn't at all a product of the superego treating the ego too harshly but a consequence of the risk society so internalised that the sister is harming herself assuming that she has to knock the tooth out to arrive at the maturity her father insists isn't possible until the tooth's absence. But we know what she doesn't: that this is one of many parental ruses to keep the kids at home. The ego has been insufficiently developed not because of some childish pleasure principle insisting that the child needn't face the consequences of their actions; that it isn't until they have grown up they can be free of parental authority. No, this is where the parents refuse to face the reality principle and wish to keep their children in an ongoing state of arrested development. Few parents will have gone as far as those in Dogtooth, and only the most extreme like Fritzl have taken it further. But many will no doubt muse over their childhoods and the far greater protective measures they have put in place as parents over their own children's lives. We now have the term overparenting (with its echoes of overbearing) used by amongst others Julie Lythcott-Haims. To investigate this would be for another piece on childhood in contemporary cinema, but one can say with some confidence and with a yen for understatement that Dogtooth is a masterful examination of the term, insisting on finding an idiosyncratic cinematic idiom to explore how far into the ludicrous such a term like over-parenting can become.
However, if the film starts as farce and ends up as something closer to tragedy, it rests on the accumulated means of oppression put to work in denying someone a proper sense of their own autonomy. That is a big statement perhaps (who has a proper sense?) but when we look at that car boot and wonder what will happen to the older sister if she is alive and if she escapes, then what will she escape into? What tools does she have to seek further autonomy once free? It is a question that needn't be asked in numerous prison films where the person knows they are free once they have created enough distance between themselves and the prison walls. But if language has been deformed, structures ever more restrictive, and the superego reduced less to harshness than madness, what chance of freedom no matter the apparent escape? The rest of us will be looking on, wondering how close to the further reaches of eccentric the film happens to be and how successfully it has found analogues for our general contemporaneous condition.
© Tony McKibbin