Published Sep 15, 2009Some rides are quick and get you from starting point to final destination with no waiting in between. Others take it slower and lull you along the scenic route. French-Canadian director Denis Côté's latest film, Carcasses, is neither.
Carcasses is the kind of ride you don't really know what to make of. In fact, you might not even know why you got in the vehicle in the first place. The film is a strange hybrid of documentary and dramatic tableaux, focused on real-life 69-year-old Jean-Paul Colmor. Colmor is a bizarre elderly man who collects old stuff, tries to fix it and then sells it. He's got thousands of decrepit cars in his backyard and most of the film is spent watching Colmor as he cranks carburettors and drags the carcasses of cars around his yard.
Sparse dialogue, a minimal score and fixed shots of Colmor at work make for a film that's more about the art than it is about the story. Even at a slight 72 minutes, Carcasses requires a generous helping of patience.
But that's not to say it's bland. Where else would you watch a gang of rifle-wielding teenagers with Down syndrome raid a house? Or better yet, a sunset make-out scene between two of the offenders once the stash is in the bag? Carcasses is the kind of film that makes you think long and hard about all the things you consider normal. And by the end of it, you'll still be wondering.
Thought provoking and a testament to Côté's contribution to contemporary Quebec art cinema, Carcasses does exactly what it's supposed to. Even if you take a few naps in between. (FunFilm)