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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Touki bouki (1973) d. Djibril Diop Mambéty

The Criterion Collection edition of Touki bouki (1971) d. Djibril Diop Mambéty comes out December 10th, 2013 but it is streaming now on Hulu Plus

Movie Review
Touki bouki (1973)
 d. Djibril Diop Mambéty
Criterion Collection #685
From Martin Scorcese's World Cinema Foundation
Criterion Collection edition released December 10th, 2013

 Criterion Collection is partnering with Martin Scorcese's World Cinema Foundation to release a bunch of restored films from all over the world.  It seems to me like a vital project, and I'm excited that Criterion/WCF have chosen to make many of these releases available on the Criterion Collection Hulu Plus channel.

  Touki bouki is billed on the original release art as "An African Road Movie" though it's kinda  Bonnie n Clyde type situation, depicting Mory (guy) and Anta (girl) as they commit a series of petty crimes in order to pay for passage to Paris.  It's obvious from jump street as to why this film would be picked for restoration/rerelease. Filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty had obviously seen his share of French New Wave, and these techniques, including non narrative documentary footage, surrealism and fantasy shot as reality, coupled with the African locations, combine to give Touki bouki the feel of revelation.   Even these New Wave influenced techniques pale in comparison to Mambety's decision to open the film with the slaughter of a bull- and then to continue that motif, showing also the slaughter of a goat.  Thus, if you are the squeamish sort who frowns at the thought of a film opening with a five minute shot of a bull having it's neck cut wide open and the blood draining out onto the killing room floor, you will not make it past the first five minutes of Touki bouki.

  Highly recommend this one.

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