‘Mandibles’ Creates Buzz at Venice as French Genre Fare Fights for Place at Table
When Quentin Dupieux’s “Mandibles,” a buddy comedy about two bumbling dolts and a giant CGI bug, premieres out of competition at the Venice Film Festival on Sept.
5, the screening could mark a mainstream breakout moment for the idiosyncratic director, and reaffirm French genre filmmaking as a market draw.Beginning with 2010’s “Rubber,” Dupieux’s absurdist, genre-tinged features have launched out of sidebars in Venice and Cannes, and have played the main slates in Sundance and Toronto; his last film, “Deerskin,” opened the Directors’ Fortnight last year.
But his off-kilter style, marked by pitch-black humor and surreal shifts, has thus far limited his commercial footprint, keeping him a cult act both at home and on the international stage.In France, the filmmaker has burnished and expanded his reputation by touring smaller, regional genre festivals with each new work, returning often to niche events in Sitges, Neuchâtel and Strasbourg.
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