Critic Consensus: Though Bruno Dumont recycles his typical themes and motifs, Flanders is also just as beautifully shot and convincingly acted as the director's previous movies.
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Critic Reviews for Flandres
Dumont is much more confident when he sticks to the title town and the young woman the men left behind; his habit of alternating close shots with extreme long shots and his singularly unsentimental way of showing sex are as distinctive as ever.
This film has few tangible pleasures, such as some somber shots of Demester walking far away in a field. Its achievement is theoretical.
The harsh and lovely achievement of Bruno Dumont's Flanders is its mixture of the concrete and the abstract. It isn't about a specific war. It's about conflict of every stripe, in any time.
Anything but comforting. With its depiction of bestial behavior and shocking wartime violence, it's the kind of film that polarizes viewers through the raw power of its imagery.
French filmmaker Bruno Dumont urges his audience to delve beneath the movie's melodramatic, often graphic surface and experience the film sensorially rather than intellectually.
Audience Reviews for Flandres
[font=Century Gothic]With "Flanders," writer-director Bruno Dumont continues his examination of alienation in an isolated area, back on his home turf of France. Barbe(Adelaide Leroux) is a young woman who is watching the young men of the village go off to war, most of whom she has had sex with(They have sex because they cannot possibly think of anything else to do. Acting out of boredom, it is over as quickly as it begins. No foreplay.), which includes her closest friend, Andre(Samuel Boidin). Of course, this is not the wisest course of action for a woman living in such a small community...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]War seems a natural topic for Dumont as his movies have gotten progressively more violent. Without war, I do not think these characters' lives would ever change, eternally locked into the same routine. Fighting a largely unseen enemy in an unknown country(I would like to say Iraq but I do not think that is possible under the circumstances), the soldiers display the worst aspects of their personalities which include rage, racism and misogyny.[/font]
An awfully slow French movie with minimalistic dialogue that adds nothing to the war-movie genre. If you really must see it, at least skip the first half-hour!
while I appreciate its experimental approach, the end result doesn't come within a mile of being considered a worthwhile experience.
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