Li'l Quinquin (Los Angeles premiere with Bruno Dumont in person!)

Half shaggy-dog story, half grand guignol, Bruno Dumont’s uproarious 2014 epic Li’l Quinquin immediately claimed a place as one of the great visionary subversions of the miniseries format. Quinquin begins as a masterful parody of enervated serial-killer and coming-of-age tropes, opening with a gang of miscreant children following a police helicopter as it airlifts a cow stuffed with human entrails out of a WWII-era bunker. Over four utterly unpredictable episodes, however, a disturbing moral portrait takes shape behind the burlesques and grotesques: simple country folk turn out to be philanderers and racists, a pastoral seaside village becomes a hell on earth. At the center of the maelstrom is the ruminative and inept Commandant Van Der Weyden (a magnificently idiosyncratic performance by gardener-turned-actor Bernard Pruvost), whose incompetence assumes an almost mystical significance. The grand philosophe among France’s foremost cinematic provocateurs, Dumont ultimately gives us much more than a murder mystery–it’s a comic treatise on the universal law of mischief.

Dir. Bruno Dumont, 2014, DCP, 197 min.

Bruno Dumont’s new film, Slack Bay, will open on 4/28 at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 and Laemmle Monica Film Center