From the April 1, 1993 Chicago Reader. — J.R.



A conclusive demonstration that it’s possible to speak French, be obsessed with excretion, vomit, masturbation, obesity, and broken noses, treat the viewer to glimpses of a dead dog, dead flies, and an abused cat, and still not have an ounce of poetry in your soul. But if you’re sufficiently cowed by the relentless will to poetry of French Canadian filmmaker Jean-Claude Lauzon (Night Zoo), you may wind up acceding to his self-definition if only through exhaustion; once you’ve learned to expect the unexpected and unpleasant you won’t find much to keep you interested in this 1992 look at the fantasies of a 12-year-old boy (Maxime Collin) as recalled by his offscreen narrating adult counterpart (Gilbert Sicotte). The fantasies include the boy and his grandfather trying to murder each other and the boy’s descent from a Sicilian tomato sprayed with sperm. Maybe if you’re in the right frame of mind you’ll find the spirited ugliness and cruelty enjoyable for its audacity; I couldn’t wait for the damn thing to be over. (JR)


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