New Life

New Life


Reviewed by: David Stanners

The less said about this dishevelled misogynistic piece of detritus the better. Censors call for gratuitous scenes to be eliminated. Reasonable people would call for this whole work to be eliminated. Artistic input is nil; storyline is nil; dialogue is monosyllabic, totalling perhaps 100 words at most. On these grounds, this entire film is gratuitous.

Set in an Eastern European country of some description, an American tourist becomes obsessed with an erotic dancer. To him, she's an expendable piece of meat, an animal at his disposal to punch, slap, rape and beat at will. She is not the only one. Women without a shade of dialogue are flagrantly portrayed by writer/director Phillippe Grandieux, as hapless slaves to the most brutal and lecherous of male creatures.

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There is not a single redeeming feature in this whole mess. The narrative is non-existent and plot virtually absent. The scenes oscillate between shady strip clubs, with excessively loud pulsating electronic beats, to what looks like Albanian countryside, where wild dogs roam and nothing decipherable happens.

The French are notorious for pushing subject matters towards breaking point. Gaspar Noe and now Marina De Van to name but two, are responsible for this, but with considerable artistic integrity. Grandieux attempts to shock for shock's sake, which he succeeds in doing, but for all the wrong reasons.

With no background, plot or narrative, the brutality and violence of his scenes are wholly unjustified and indicative of a man with some seriously worrying issues towards women, who have no opportunity to fight their corner against the brutal exploitation of their male oppressors.

New Life is unspeakably bad, deeply negligent and disgustingly self-important on every level. It's only value is to highlight to budding directors what not to do.

Reviewed on: 20 Aug 2003
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Exploitative, misogynistic film about men treating women as dogs.

Director: Philippe Grandrieux

Writer: Philippe Grandrieux, Eric Vuillard

Starring: Anna Mouglalis, Zack Knighton, Marc Barbé, Zsolt Nagy, Vladimir Lutov, Gueorgui Kadourine, Raoul Dentec, Simona Hülsemann, Diana Guerova

Year: 2002

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: France


EIFF 2003

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