Oct 8, 2008

Julien Donkey-Boy


Julien Donkey-Boy is a Dogme 95 film that seems to have broken its “vow of chastity.” One of the contemporary auteur filmmakers worth mentioning, Harmony Korine directed the film. The film was inspired by Korine’s real-life schizophrenic uncle Eddie. Scottish actor Ewen Bremner stars as the schizophrenic teenager Julien who seems to have a hard time even walking without have some type of disturbance. Legendary Bavarian New Waver Werner Herzog stars as Julien’s deranged German father. A father that calls his daughter both a “dilettante” and a “slut.”


Julien Donkey-Boy opens with an angered Julien committing a ghastly crime due to his denial by a young boy for a turtle. Julien has Jesus in his heart and preaches the gospel every time he is in a situation of anguish. In an imagined visit with Adolf Hitler, Julien mistakes das fuehrer for Jesus Christ. Was Hitler a Jew like Christ that called out his own kinsman? Maybe Harmony Korine knows. Julien makes sure to let Hitler know he doesn’t want his relatives to know he’s friends with a Nazi.

Julien also has a brother named Chris who wants to be a “winner.” Father Herzog attempts to train Chris by hosing him down in the streets during the winter season. Unfortunately, Chris does not take it like a man and Father Herzog becomes enraged. Chris killed his mother during child birth and his father seems to have it out for him. He even attempts to pay Chris $10.00 to wear his mother’s dress. Apparently, a man that works in a field for a month in Bangladesh only makes $10.00 for his strenuous efforts.


Julien and his sister have a special kind of relationship. A relationship that is undeniably incest as the young woman is pregnant. One has to wonder what the young lady found attractive in her schizo brother Julien. I can only image it was his gold front teeth and his ability to pull off a mismatch bikini during wrestling matches. Father Herzog becomes enraged by his daughters amateur harp playing and attacks her about her lack of ability. Being the ladies man that he is, Julien defends his sister by slapping his own face.


Near the conclusion of Julien Donkey-Boy, a disturbing event occurs at a ice skating rank. Aside from the loudmouth verbal abuse of a Hasidic Jewish child and his threat to curse at Julien in Yiddish, things seem pleasant at the ice skating rink. Julien’s sister smiles with beauty as she glides across ice. The unimaginable occurs and Julien reacts in a manner that will have most art fag viewers in a state of shock. On a side note, a young lady I know said she wishes she was a man so she could, “beat up retards like Julien.”


-Ty E

1 comment:

quinton said...

I think Harmony is a so-so artist. Part genius and part jester. But Julien really left me uninvolved. I got all of the wacky symbolism and its foreign influence. But there just didn't seem to be any substance. "Gummo" has substance, although very cryptic, and that's why I love that film. But "Julien" just seemed so forced and too exploitive of its subject matter, if that makes any sense. I wish Harmony didn't become a heroin-worshipping art film hack. Werner was the soul of this film though.