The only real thread for Julien Donkey-Boy was locked, for good reason I imagine, so I may as well post this here. Just saw Julien Donkey-Boy. Just loved Julien Donkey-Boy. Greater than Gummo, though they're both great films. My comments for this are pretty much the same as Gummo. Korine simply improves on a previously-established formula, and churns out a great, moving film. What godardian has said about his visual style is what I admire most. Anthony Dod Mantle has such great skill as a cinematographer. It is really encouraging that this was all done on DV, and I actually like the grainy look of the film, although the handheld parts at the beginning were a bit disorienting, and the editing in some places was fuzzy and choppy (probably purposefully). The score of the film was so beautiful, but I'm a bit confused (and I hope someone can clear this up for me), because I thought that no non-diagetic music was allowed in a Dogme 95 film, and I could've sworn there were a few times where the score was coming from a source not on screen. Either way, these are the kinds of films I want to make.
The ending was beautiful, and I like that in this movie there seem to have been some actual themes recurring here, unlike Gummo which was simply random scenes from a town (though that could be considered a theme as well). Here we have the ice skating motif and the pervasiveness of religion, all building up to create this underlying intangible emotion that one can't put into words. That's what film is capable of, and when it works, it's really powerful. To me, that's what we have here, and I think if Korine channels this, he could make something really special one day. I doubt it'll be Ken Park, though, but that's because Clark had his dirty paws on it.
Best line from the film (after Chris's father instructs him to balance on a glass, pick up a cigarette in his mouth and smoke it with grace to learn balance as a wrestler):
CHRIS: But I don't smoke.
FATHER: Eh, you'll learn that.
See this film if you haven't yet, and if you care at all about independent, unconventional cinema. Don't be afraid about what you may have heard about any shock value, lack of plot, or Korine's "hucksterism," relationship to Larry Clarke, or anything like that. They two are totally different voices; Korine has talent while Clark does not. ***½ (8/10)
EDIT: As I was walking home, it just dawned on me what sets these films apart, and really bothers me about most films. It's the inclusion of the (traditional) dramatic scene, or at least a film that is structured to somewhat closely follow that pattern. Even at the most unconventional, most films follow this structure where scenes pay off in a dramatic fashion. There's some line, some look, some shot, some cut that indicates the scene is over, and the story arc continues. In Korine's film, this isn't so, and that's what sets them apart. There is no punchline. His films simply exist, and this is what makes them so real, so unlike anything else.