Slack Bay (2017)

Viewed April 30th

A series of absurd disappearances tie the social classes inhabiting a quaint French seaside town together.

In Bruno Dumont's latest film, he continues his drift away from the harsh realism of Life of Jesus and Twenty-Nine Palms. Slack Bay is a violent, cartoon-like satire featuring a wide variety of flavors--everything from Jean Renoir, to Wes Anderson, to Francois Ozon, to Guy Maddin, to Tintin, to Jacques Tati, to Laurel and Hardy, to the Swedish film A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Contemplating Existence, to Jeunet & Caro, to Julia Ducournau's recent cannibalism film Raw. Unfortunately, these different flavors never congeal into one satisfying world. There are a million good ideas and a genius (almost sadistically painful) approach to presenting the human body, but it never feels like it should all go together. Which is a shame, because if you can't be absorbed into a film's world you can't absorb its world view. And there is something interesting here about the body and class.