Julien Donkey-Boy

Director/Writer:Harmony Korine
Cast:Ewen Bremner, Werner Herzog, Chloe Sevigny

I'm trying to remember when people walked out on Julien Donkey-Boy. During the scenes involving mentally challenged Julien working with blind children? When variously handicapped kids rapped about their conditions, culminating in a minutes-long song by a “black albino from Alabama?” Maybe when Werner Herzog drank Robitussun from a shoe, muttered about how he wanted to get as high as Everest—no, that was when people laughed.

Julien Donkey-Boy is director-writer Harmony Korine's second film, a follow-up to Gummo. It sports a visually arresting lo-fi narrative, but borrows its finest moments from scenes performed more provocatively in Gummo, from furniture wrestling to creepy bathtub reverie. Herzog offers comic relief as the cruelly quirky Eastern-European father to the motherless dysfunctional family. Nevertheless, Korine's diet of madness and bad-apple Americana were far more filling in his directorial debut.