Week of January 7, 2004

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Carnage (unrated) Delphine Gleize. The engrossing, quirky Carnage connects geographically separated and culturally disparate individuals through the goring of a matador and the slaughter of the responsible bull. As the bullfighter lies in a coma, the Andalusian animal's bones, eyes, horns and meat travel from southern Spain to northern France, Italy and Belgium. Ironic, curious coincidences link an epileptic girl, an emotionally distraught mother and her devoted daughter, an insecure actress, an intense veterinary research scientist, a bizarre taxidermist, a bewildering philosopher and others, including a huge Great Dane who is as much a character as the people. In remarkably inventive ways, tragic, touching and amusing events suggest metaphoric parallels of life and death, emotional need and unexpected comfort. Director Delphine Gleize holds her camera back from the characters, thereby inviting contemplation of the carefully composed, sharply observed details of these lives. First-rate acting and a satisfying pace show Gleize, in her feature film debut, in full command of her craft as several intersections add a touch of provocative unity. In French and Spanish with English subtitles. Screens at 7 p.m. Friday, January 9, through Sunday, January 11, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)
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