Dillinger Is Dead

Dillinger Is Dead ★★★½

Time for mommy to watch a movie of her own choice, and I chose to watch an old sleazy and creepy Italian dude having some alone time in his house. He makes dinner in his picturesque kitchen. He finds a gun wrapped in an old newspaper with articles about John Dillinger's death. He pays a lot of attention to this gun. Too much attention. He also pays a little bit too much attention to the maid living upstairs. He watches old movies. Strange movies. His wife just keeps on sleeping. She's naked. There's an impressive amount of nakedness going on considering there's just two young women and an old man in this movie, and the two women are mostly sleeping.

One of the most horrific movie experiences I've ever had is when I watched The Seventh Continent by Michael Haneke. The knowledge of that something terrible would happen while watching the family live out their everyday life and make preparation for what's to come was almost unbearable. And Dillinger is Dead works much in the same way, with the difference that it's more obvious that there's something off with this dude. Not psycho off, but after he finds that gun in the kitchen, you just know that this movie is going in one direction, and one direction only. It's like Chekhov once said... yes I'm quoting Chekhov now, even named my kid (Anton as a middle name) after him, so it was bound to happen sooner or later.

"Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

Chekhov's law is so imprinted in us that this hardly is a spoiler. It's rather the slow, peculiar and sometimes creepy parts before the gun goes off that is the movie. That is the experience. The thing that makes this movie good and well worth a watch. It's an hypnotizing ride with great acting that sadly ends in an pretty anticlimactic way. But the point that Ferreri wants to make about what industrial societies does to us isn't lost because of this, rather the contrary. But if I write more about that I'm sure to spoiler it for real.

Terése liked this review