Quentin Dupieux / FR, BE, 2020 / 77 min.
Deer Skin has made the French cult director Quentin Dupieux a great favourite of art house audiences. With Mandibles, he proves he can top the absurdity of his previous film. Think the French version of Dumb and Dumber, only in a surrealist idiom. It’s all down to two men and a giant fly called ‘Dominique'.
Jean-Gab and Manu are an endearing pair of losers. Not a penny between them, but things all change when they open the boot of their car to discover a fly, the size of a chunky dog. The two chums think they can turn their unexpected find into big money. They christen the insect Dominique and plan on training it as an animal drone, to assist them in robbing banks.
What follows is a hilarious road movie full of unpredictable twists and superbly timed slapstick. The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “There's not a whole lot of filmmakers who could unite two brain-dead protagonists, a brain-damaged young woman and an oversized insect under one roof, and somehow transform them into elements of dark humor.”
Quentin Dupieux is still fairly unknown in the Netherlands. Only two of his eight previous films were released here, Realité (2014) and Deerskin (2019). Dupieux is an all-rounder, able to turn his hand to directing, camera, editing and music. (IFFR)
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