Synopsis by Mark Deming
In his second directorial effort, writer/director Harmony Korine embraces the hyper-realist aesthetic of Lars Von Trier's Dogma 95 film movement, which mandates handheld photography using only available lighting, among other restrictions. As in the controversial Gummo (1997), Korine abandons traditional narrative for a series of vignettes about bizarre characters, in this case centered on Julien (Ewen Bremner), a schizophrenic who works in a school for the blind. Julien lives at home with his pregnant sister Pearl (Chloe Sevigny); his brother Chris (Evan Neumann), who wrestles in his spare time; and their violent father (Werner Herzog), who slaps his children around, hoses them down with water, and offers to pay Chris ten dollars to dress up in his late mother's clothes and dance. Eventually Julien escapes from his home and interacts with people on the street (some of whom, reportedly, were not professional actors and had no idea that Bremmer was an actor playing a scene).
ambition, family, incest, mental-illness, murder, pregnancy, reality, religion, schizophrenia