C’est Arrive Pres de Chez Vous aka Man Bites Dog, based on story by Remy Belvaux
What astounding morbid humor!
In addition, Benoit Poelvoorde is one of the outstanding, charming, mesmerizing, smart, glorious heroes of cinema.
Le Tout Nouveau Testament, Coco Before Chanel, Dumas are just a few of his chef d’oeuvre performances
The subject of this jewel of a film is awkward.
Not in its core, for many motion pictures have explored the life of serial killers, but in the jocular manner it adopts.
A camera crew follows the “hero” as he moves along, kills people, dumps the bodies, drinks and socializes.
We get to see all his life, he explains his tastes in architecture, where he is unhappy with the social lodgings and other aspects of urban design, he laments on the tree planning idea and explains…colors.
Ben makes the association between the rouge used in painting the buildings he talks on and blood, wine…
He explains how he disposes of various bodies and the quantities of weight needed to sink them.
The crew follows him to his home, where the mother we meet appears to be the real life parent of Benoit Poelvoorde.
Mother, grandmother and most other protagonists have no idea about the criminal enterprise of their dear Ben.
Indeed, I think it was the mother who condemned in the most determined terms the death of a boy.
And that child was killed by…Ben.
He targets a house in the suburbs, although he has some qualms about this robbery and he kills mother and father.
When he murders the father the hero even refers to the Old Gun, a film with the wonderful Philippe Noiret.
You see, I did it like fat, old Noiret
But this is from me…he adds as he asks the sound man to approach the sink and he breaks the neck of his victim
In fact, this viewer has to admit that when this peculiar character accidentally kills his boxing trainer, he laughed.
The crew has no more money to film this killer who evidently enjoys the show and the idea of being a film star.
The actor in the leading role, who is also one of the writers and producers of this film is phenomenal in the ease, complexity, relaxed, funny and morbid, sophisticated and dark attitude he has throughout.
It is all a lesson for anybody who wants to be an actor.
Ben offers to pay for the film, since he has the money and he had explained what the victims need to look like.
Old people have money so he attacks them and explains something about their bones and the disposing of this kind of corpse.
The criminal also attacks postal workers, in order to get the money they have for pensioners, but one escapes him.
He blames the crew for not helping him and this and other scenes raise the question of the role of the media:
Are they complacent or accomplices to such crimes? Not just here, but in other situations it can be argued that they favor the developing, the inception of criminal plans for people who are copycats or interested in the coverage they know they are going to get after they commit a particularly awful murder, or a series of killings.
On the other hand, members of this filming crew and another are killed and a viewer is invited to contemplate the dangers that journalists face in their activity and not just when they are crazy enough to join a lunatic on his shooting spree.
Ben gets a message from an Italian nemesis, which reminds one of The Godfather, and the fish sent to the Corleone family, just after the Don had been shot and one of his main henchmen had been sent to…
Sleep with the fish…