Abstract

While most critical reactions to Yorgos Lanthimos’s film Κυνόδοντας (Dogtooth) (2009) have been positive, as indicated by the Cannes Film Festival award it received, many people find it hard to understand and painful to watch. Combining extreme violence and humor in unusual ways, it includes scenes of extraordinary perversity and depravity. This essay argues that the film thereby constitutes a striking example of absurdist cinema in general and of what has been called the “Greek Weird Wave” in particular. For, it refuses to reassert or privilege certain long-standing artistic norms and conventions or traditional values over others. It thus encourages viewers to put aside qualms (“bones”) they have with several scenes in order to appreciate better the questions the film raises about contemporary Western society, especially the social construction of the family in Greece, as well as the new ways the film allows us to rethink such questions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3265
Print ISSN
0738-1727
Pages
pp. 367-392
Launched on MUSE
2014-11-03
Open Access
No
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