Morrocan director Hicham Lasri summons some notorious evil spirits from his country's troubled history in this visually dazzling experimental essay film.
Falling somewhere between a docudrama movie, an art installation and an avant-garde theater piece, the latest uncompromising work by Moroccan auteur Hicham Lasri is almost certainly the most maddeningly pretentious world premiere at this year's Toronto Film Festival. But it is also a boldly ambitious experiment, full of arrestingly beautiful images and innovative in-camera effects that ensure it is always visually ravishing, even when the narrative becomes opaque and impenetrable. Lasri describes Starve Your Dog as the second chapter in a trilogy launched two years ago with They Are The Dogs, which screened in the ACID sidebar in Cannes. The canine titles are purely metaphorical. No dogs were harmed in the making of this movie.
Unfolding like an extended psychedelic hallucination, the plot is a montage of crazy-paving images set to a queasy musical backdrop of constant thumps, clangs and crackles. Combining stylistic echoes of veteran nouvelle vague masters like Jean-Luc Godard and Agnes Varda with an ultra-vivid, high-contrast color palette that recalls the work of Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle, Starve Your Dog is an emphatically surreal oddity pitched at ultra-niche arthouse and festival crowds. But it is noteworthy ... Read Full Review