Bastard Sets Its Sights On You

Actress Kirsten Dunst’s short film Bastard is playing the Critic’s Week at Cannes this month and at Tribeca after that. There’s not much revealed about the six-minute short except what she’s said:

“This film explores what makes the unbelievable believable. When we hear a story that seems mysterious or far-fetched, we put more trust in its accuracy the longer ago it took place. As the centuries pass, the truth becomes more malleable. We grow less skeptical of what we might otherwise dismiss as incredible. Our perspective changes. This film addresses the eerie transformation of a familiar myth when displaced to the present.”

Dunst has also been quoted as taking inspiration for her film from Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas. Now, Paris, Texas is one of my favorite movies, and if it’s anything like that, I’ll be shocked. If she meant that it’s stylistically inspired by Wenders, that’s another thing altogether (Wenders’ style is pretty austere and hugely cinematic), but from the initial stills that have come out for the film, it looks more like she was inspired stylistically by Lars von Trier.

Is the blurred red dot present throughout the entire length of the film? What’s the deal? Is it blood on the lens? Is it a sniper has a scope on the girl. If so, von Trier already pulled this cinematic tool of visual permanence on audiences with his film Epidemic, but at least that was just a red slogan embedded in each frame of the film. This is a fucking huge, red blob.

Now, in all fairness, I love anything artistic and thought-provoking — and especially in my movies (Begotten is on my top ten list!), but this just looks bloody annoying.