Tuesday 9 April 2019

French Film Festival (11) - Exploring the nether reaches Barrie Pattison locates DANY (François Damiens)

François Damiens is trying to get away from his stoic leading man image and his turn in Le Monde est á toi works nicely. I’m less convinced by Mon ket/Dany which he stars in, wrote and directed. Damiens sees himself as a Belgian Borat coming on as a low life who confronts people going about their real life occupations. This is apparently developed from a candid camera routine worked up on Belgian TV.

Most of the time it’s not funny and on the occasions when it is I felt embarrassed for the subjects (indicated by name titles) who have given their permission for the footage to appear.

A disguised (three hours plus make up) Damiens is in the lock up and has to go to court to maintain custody of his fifteen-year-old son whom he sees as his personal responsibility despite young Matteo Salamone’s uneasy relationship with his hard case dad. 

The jailer and his lawyer are the first of the real life characters who are punked in front of the multiple cameras. 

The plot has the boy’s Godfather Christian Brahy run an escape from Lantin Prison by helicopter and Dany/Damiens is on the loose comparing notes with a fellow ex-offender, teaching the boy how to smoke despite the horror of shopper ladies and coming on to unlikely women who are half flattered by his advances. A couple of workers hired out of our hero’s locksmith shop find themselves aiding in the theft of lawn sculptures. The taxi drivers are uppity when he parks in their space. 

A cosmetic surgeon makes our hero unrecognisable and when the bandages come off (more high end make up sessions) Checkout Chick Nancy Sluse is amused and takes him home to meet her parents whom he appalls with his exploits, over a sauerkraut lunch. After a couple of bank managers refuse his under documented personalised credit card scheme he sets out for Abidjan where a local businessman is nodding about his dodgy ethics until a phone call alerts him to the snipers on the roof about to arrest our hero.

The film’s planning must have been phenomenal with them taking multiple
simultaneous views of their victims edited to give continuous flow and it would be hard to see who are the actors and who are the victims without the on-screen captions but I didn’t find it amusing whereas I fell about at the antics of Borat and his lot.

Production values are just so so after all this chicanery.

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