Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
France’s enigmatic Quentin Dupieux, aka Mr Oizo, whose breakout hit Rubber was about a homicidal car tyre, makes films unlike anyone else in the world. Deerskin, channelling cinema’s rich history of obsessive loners, is no exception.
French megastar Jean Dujardin plays Georges, a handsome greying man who purchases a long-fringed deerskin jacket – and quickly becomes obsessed with the ‘killer style’ it projects. Not your run-of-the-mill existential midlife crisis flick, all bets are off when Georges decides all other jackets must be destroyed – and his intimate conversations with the deerskin only fuel his rage and paranoia.
It gets weirder: Georges uses a camera to film himself, transforming his obsession into a meta-take on auteur theory. And when he meets Denise (Adèle Haenel), whose hobby is re-editing the likes of Pulp Fiction, he convinces her to help him produce his magnum opus.
Dupieux is a director with a laser-focused vision and an ungodly commitment to the conceit, no matter how batshit cuckoo it may be. Crafting a first-person hallucinatory vortex of madness and masculinity with the skill of a surgeon, his latest, at a blistering 76 minutes, is one hell of a ride. — AT