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1-World Festival of Foreign Films

Man Bites Dog
(C'est Arrive Pres de Chez Vous)
Belgium - 1992
Directed by Remy Belvaux

One of the darkest comedies we've seen, scenes of violence that are extremely graphic (even though they are in black and white) cause us to warn that this film is not for everyone.  Even the version released in the US, which omits a child-killing scene and a brutal rape scene is stronger that what we're used to.  This is a story about a film crew that follows and documents the actions of a serial killer.  The director uses a hand-held camera technique to make the film seem like a "real" documentary.

We find the character of Ben (played by Benoit Poelvoorde) to be an intelligent, sometimes charming guy until he randomly decides to strangle, or rape, or shoot someone.   The film crew is shocked at first, of course, but gradually become participants.   Eventually the line between perpetrator and voyeur is blurred and obscured until it just isn't there.  It is interesting to note that this film was banned in Sweden.

Runtime: 96 minutes (uncut version)

Guest Comments

From:  "Travis McHenry"

"I started renting foreign films when I met a girl from France, I was looking for a movie that we could both enjoy and found this gem. The story and characters are very Pulp Fiction/Reservoir Dogs esque and although the violence is very graphic, the film's integrity and value shine through in the moments of calm between the random spurts of violence. The lead character is best shown during his poetry recitations and monologues on society and archeticture. While many would not consider this film to be a comedy, there are many truly funny moments."

From:  "Beau Fay"

"This is my favorite movie of all time. It is absolute brilliance and is a film that should not be taken seriously. I do not enjoy disturbing movies, but the comedy in C'est Arrive Pres De Chez Vous (aka MAN BITES DOG) is so damn funny that it overpowers any disturbing vibes that this movie might project to some. Seeing 120 lb. Benoit Poelvoorde, who is the killer in this movie recite beautiful poetry and rant about architecture and aesthetics in a very feminine European way is too funny for words. Seeing him kill people is so unconvincing and hilarious... it is dynamite. The classic scenes at the restaurant (""tour a tour fenaud...."") and at Malou's bar are great. The movie was never intended to go public, though, which is very interesting. The three stars of the movie, Benoit Poelvoorde, Remy Belvaux and Andre Bonzel were actually the directors and writers of the movie, and were all Belgian film students who made this film for their final project. Anyone who gets this movie should try to get a copy of the uncut NC-17 version, as it is much better than the Unrated version commonly found here in the US. Enjoy the great moments of this Wallonian masterpiece, as well as the brilliance of Benoit Poelvoorde and his fellow actors and directors... and take it lightly! Bon appetit."

From:  "oj"

This movie was very well made graphically, but suffers with its story. We're never shown or explained what motivates the killer to commit these crimes, or how he got to be this way. There is no insight into his character aside from his overt actions and behavior."

From:  "George Tremblay"

"Man bites dog" is one of the most original films I have ever seen. One tip for those who still hesitate about what they should think about it : go and watch it again. For the people who understand French, I can only recommend to listen with great care to the hilarious Belgian French in the film. This is a ""cult"" movie in every sense and deserves a place among the great alternative works of the 7th Art. Other great Belgian movies : Toto the Hero (Toto le heros), The 8th day (Le huitieme Jour), Daens, Rosetta, Brussels by Night."

From:  "M. Davenport"

"A very disturbing movie."

From:  "tommy"

"Man Bites Dog","This film is the best film ever. In a time when film violence was being paraded in front of the world media as the reason for all the troubles on all the streets corners of the world, this film showed you a man being killed, and made you laugh, then showed you a woman being raped and shocked you. For me it made me realise how fine the line between acceptable and unacceptable violence in films is."

From:  "DR"

"A brilliant and very funny film.  I love the scene where Ben and the film crew run into another psycho who is also having a documentary made about him. It was so bizarre"

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