Thu, 16 August 2012
I had heard of Man Bites Dog (aka It Happened In Your Neighborhood) a long time ago, forgotten about it, heard about it again, forgotten about it again, and then heard about it a third time while looking for fffs. I finally got it from Netflix, watched it, and discovered that it is not a fff.
The date alone would tell you that Man Bites Dog is is not a fff. It came out in 1992, seven years before what I count as the beginning of the fff era with Blair Witch in '99. A viewing confirms that it is not a fff but a mockmentary. A French film, it follows some French guy who killed random strangers for reasons I can't understand. There apparently was layers of black humor and cultural satire in the film. Some of that I got, others I didn't. Mostly, I thought the killer was a major tool and the film crew who began to participate in his acts (including the rape of an innocent woman) were tools as well.
Now the film ends (SPOILER) with the killer and crew being killed by a rival murderer. We even have a fff ending as the cameraman is shot, the camera falls, and the filming ends. However, that is all it is. A fff ending tacked onto a mockumentary. It was just a clever way to end the movie, not the raison d'etre (an appropirate term, no?) for the movie. The rest of the film plays and feels nothing like a fff. The bulk of the film was collected and edited by the fictional camera crew, which further distances it from the fff format, and the horror of the film (if there is any) is in the fact that guys like this could be out there (as suggested by the alternate title It Happened In Your Neighborhood), not that you are watching evil acts through the thin veil of a camera lens.
Man Bites Dog is an interesting movie. I'm not sure I can say it was good, because I really didn't enjoy it. If it was good, it was good in the way that Megan Is Missing was. It makes a point, but it isn't really fun to watch. I am sure, though, that it is not a found footage film.
Category:Movies -- posted at: 4:05 AM