Males & Chicken — film assessment: ‘Scary, clever’

You never ever know what will come out of Denmark next. From the turmoils of medieval Elsinore to the chastising vows of Dogme 95 — 1 cleaning out the royals, the other the movie rules — if there’s something rotten in this state it’s not for want of an urge to purge. Cleanse-and-start off-once more fundamentalism is the creed. Probably the Danes believe they can even reinvent the laws of life and procreation. They give it a try in Males &amp Chicken.

This sly, black comedy-drama from Anders Thomas Jensen, writer-director, serves up awful warnings. The plot has a time-bomb dystopianism. Old mansions include ominous secrets. Nasty issues are seen in storage jars that are not jam or marmalade. And each and every character is conflicted, beginning with the squabbling brothers Elias (Mads Mikkelsen) and Gabriel (David Dencik). Edgy, hare-lipped and emotionally arrested — Elias is a pathological masturbator — they learn a single day that their biological father was, or is, an evolutionary geneticist living on a remote island. Off they go to the island. Roll the plot.

I can’t spoil by saying far more. Adequate to say: this is the land that gave us Danish bacon and Kierkegaard — cured meat and incurable existential angst — and a clammy sense grows that Jensen has taken Kierkegaard’s philosophy of epiphanic doubt and self-doubt and constructed precise scientific grounds for it.

Elias and Gabriel locate far more brothers and a clapped-out property full of laboratory nightmares and proof that this island once resembled, and could nevertheless, a well-known atoll imagined by H.G. Wells. It’s a scary, discomfiting, clever film, challenging to rid from your head as soon as you have noticed it. Very best amongst the actors, all referred to as on to play repelled or repellent, is Mikkelsen. The ex-Bond villain wears a moustache, a Christopher Walken hairdo and a permanent, vulnerable look of spooked expectation. You almost come to really like him: not a typical response to the heroes or antiheroes of New Danish Cinema.

Section: Arts


Competitive Males Are At Sea In &#039Chevalier&#039

Panos Koronis in Chevalier.

Panos Koronis in Chevalier. Strand Releasing hide caption

toggle caption Strand Releasing

In the opening scenes of Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier, six well-heeled Greek men on a fishing trip pose with the massive bream they’ve just caught in a scenic cove off the Aegean sea. We see them aid every other out of their wetsuits even though amiably joshing about who has the largest this, that and the other. Affability soon fades, and after the luxury boat weighs anchor and sets out on the return trip to Athens, the males will enter into a bizarre and increasingly hostile competitors that will strip them of a lot a lot more than their rubber gear.

If you’ve seen Tsangari’s 2010 Attenberg, Greece’s entry for Greatest Foreign Film, you will know that in her goofball-noir way, the director loves to maintain us guessing. Rapturously photographed by Christos Karamanis, Chevalier‘s idyllic setting is sumptuous and serene and smacks of an earnest psychological drama to come. The sly soundtrack seems to suggest a thriller, then keeps throwing us elsewhere. The tone is slow and stately all through, complicating what is essentially a jaundiced black comedy, a woman’s-eye vision of male vanity and all manner of impotence.

The guys — amongst them a handsome narcissist who’s tenderly attentive to each hint of flab in his personal heroically built body a chubby, eager-to-please mama’s boy nonetheless living with his mother and his feckless brother and a bearded wonder whose uncontrolled homoerotic aggression alarms his companions — function a lot more as Humors than as flesh and blood. Vain, portentous and puffed-up however profoundly insecure and competitive, the guys run the gamut of masculine pathology as they dream up a contest in which every single scores the other on a battery of ludicrously banal criteria (underpants, cholesterol levels, nouvelle cuisine, that sort of factor). The winner, or “Greatest in Basic,” will repossess a signet ring at the moment worn by the group’s designated elder, a self-significant doctor who turns out to be a gifted take-down artist and a windy bag of gravitas ripe for puncture himself.

Chevalier is a 1-joke tale, and though it’s fun for a while to watch the shenanigans of a bunch of pre-teens with hairier bodies, the movie begins to sag around the middle as it goes about in circles documenting the endless a single-upmanship. Just as it begins to really feel like a slow-mo version of Dumb and Dumber, there comes a essential shift in tone, a progressive souring as old wounds are painfully awakened and new ones are reduce open. The stakes stay infantile, the black humor by no means flags, but the competitors takes on a sinister savagery as bro-bonding alliances shift and hero-worship curdles into betrayal and resentment. Also, there’s blood.

Chevalier starts with a mentor and his protégé rowing in ideal sync on the boat’s physical exercise machines. It ends with the identical two men rowing in perfect opposition. Whether or not that doubles as a political allegory of the current internecine squabbling amongst Greece’s political and organization elites although the economy tanked, Tsangari’s not saying. From start to finish, there is not a single true chevalier in this crew, and that consists of the servants under, who, far from seeing the light, grow to be infected with the very same disease that afflicts their masters. For all the serenity of the ending as the men’s fancy vehicles pull out of their spots amongst a fleet of expensive yachts, I would not bet the residence on a much better tomorrow for their nation.

Arts &amp Life : NPR


Dallas Mayor Explains Why White Males Are Scarier Than Refugees

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When the mayor of Dallas, Texas not too long ago commented on the panicked and xenophobic responses from U.S. politicians in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, he made one thing clear: He’s not afraid of welcoming refugees in his city.

In an interview with MSNBC, mayor Mike Rawlings also pointed out a significant hypocrisy in many’s responses: “This is a critical situation. I am far more fearful of large gatherings of white guys that come into schools [and] theaters and shoot individuals up, but we don’t isolate young white guys on this issue.”

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That is a statement that is as bold as it is correct: Statistically, a lot more men and women have been killed by “homegrown” — generally white — terrorists than by Islamic extremists. The majority of mass killings in the U.S. have also been perpetrated by white males.

While he’s not claiming that white males are inherently harmful or scary on their personal, he is pointing out that it would be incredibly hypocritical to generalize an whole group — particularly one particular that is clearly in need of (and, you know, entitled to) international protections. (Particularly without the numbers on their side.)

Rawlings also encouraged other Americans not to succumb to fear and Islamophobia and to as an alternative keep in mind that “ISIS is no far more Islamic than the Nazi senior staff was Christian, and we have got to differentiate amongst these.”

He said that even though there’s never ever any “100 percent guarantee” of safety, he had faith in the robust screening method for refugees.

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