“Benno Balder’s “Man Bites Dog” – Movie Reviews


“Benno Balder’s “Man Bites Dog” is a seminal Belgian mockumentary that was released in 1992. Directed by Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and Benoît Poelvoorde, the film is a darkly comedic look at crime and violence in contemporary society.

The film follows the daily activities of a serial killer named Ben (played by Benoît Poelvoorde) as he carries out his killing spree with the help of a film crew that is documenting his life. The film crew is initially attracted to Ben’s charismatic personality, but as they continue to document his crimes, they become increasingly complicit in his activities.

One of the standout aspects of “Man Bites Dog” is its unique style. The film blurs the lines between fiction and reality, as the film crew’s involvement in Ben’s crimes is shown in a matter-of-fact way, with the filmmakers often appearing on camera and commenting on the events as they unfold. This creates a sense of unease in the viewer, as it becomes unclear who is in control and who is responsible for the events that are happening on screen.

The film’s black comedy is also noteworthy. The film’s humor is dark and macabre, and it often pushes the boundaries of good taste. This can be unsettling for some viewers, but it is also what makes the film so unique and memorable. The film’s humor is never gratuitous, however, and it is always used to make a larger point about the society in which it was made.

Another highlight of “Man Bites Dog” is its commentary on the media. The film takes a critical look at the role of the media in shaping public perceptions of crime and violence. It also explores the relationship between the media and the subjects it covers, as the film crew becomes increasingly involved in Ben’s crimes, they become more and more complicit in his activities.

In conclusion, “Man Bites Dog” is a daring and thought-provoking film that is both entertaining and challenging. With its unique style, dark humor, and insightful commentary, the film is a must-see for fans of independent cinema and those who are interested in the role of the media in shaping public perceptions of crime and violence. The film may not be for everyone, but it is a film that will stay with you long after you have seen it, and it is a testament to the power of independent filmmaking.

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