The Wild Dogs Thom Fitzgerald

The Wild Dogs Thom Fitzgerald
East-coaster Thom Fitzgerald's The Wild Dogs sets its sights high, examining the poverty and accompanying class/political structure of Bucharest during a contemporary cull of stray dogs. Following three plot threads, but essentially the story of Geordie, a North American pornographer visiting Romania to locate and film Lolitas, The Wild Dogs unnecessarily follows a condescending and blandly practical happy ending story arc, in which Fitzgerald, as Geordie, weeps and repents his evil pornographic sins during a shower, sleeps with a Romanian diplomat's daughter, videotapes the escapade in order to blackmail the diplomat into acquiring a passport for a young crippled boy, tells his boss back in North America to get lost, and gives all of his money to the same poor boy. And lest any other problems remain unsolved, the evil diplomat, who naturally sleeps with girls in his private club, dies in the bathtub, leaving his wife finally free to adopt a local poor child and be at one with her surroundings. Aside from the far too fantastic and the out of sync visual treatment and tone, Fitzgerald's biggest mistake is casting himself as Geordie, a character who at one point in his transformation films poor children with a digital camera while the regular digital camera films him filming the children. In the hands of Egoyan this premise might somehow work, with Fitzgerald it feels like a lame home video given undue artistic significance. And at other points, just when a moment feels like it could be taken seriously and affect the viewer, Fitzgerald pitters it away with overly dramatic music, or an endless supply of metaphorically on the nose wild dog cutaways. Incapable of mining anything more substantial than the old "rich vs. poor" to "rich appreciate and accept the poor for the people they really are" transformation theme, Wild Dogs is far too preachy and self-consciously important for anyone but its own artist's good. The DVD release is as slim as the film's substance, as Fitzgerald and his producers have little worthwhile to add in their commentary, aside from inside jokes and the spiritual and cultural appreciation for Bucharest they personally developed during filming. Plus: trailer; cast interviews, more. (Mongrel Media)