Carnages opens in visceral and shocking fashion with the slaughter of a bull at the hands of a matador. Overnight, various parts of the bull–horns, eyes, flesh, skin and bone–are parcelled up and dispatched to expectant recipients in locations across Europe. The film then takes up the individual stories of these people (an epileptic girl with a large family pet; a terrible actress and a failed suicide; a taxidermist mother’s boy) whose lives are affected in bizarre, almost mythical ways by the deliveries they receive. Almost impossible to categorise or describe, Carnagesis a strikingly original feature debut from director Delphine Gleize, whose short films have won her international recognition. There is an all pervading sense of strangeness running throughout the film, a surreal edge to the stories that’s reflected through a vibrant and distinctive visual style. But there is a peculiar charm there too, not least in the performances Gleize teases from an impressive cast that includes Chiara Mastroianni, Clovis Cornillac and Angela Molina. Little wonder that one French critic was moved to claim Gleize as ‘incontestably the most serious hope for French cinema.’- Sandra Hebron/London Film Festival programme.
France, 2002. English subtitles. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo 130 mins.

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