Monday, September 8, 2008

Man Is A Strange Animal

Human Nature
Directed by Michel Gondry(2001)

Franz Kafka's "A Report To An Academy" is the story of an ape testifying before an academy the story of how he learned to speak and think like a human and why. Though he comes to love music and eventually accepts his fate, he admits that he only began learning from his human teachers as a way to escape from his cage.Michel Gondry's "Human Nature", is one of the earliest Charlie Kaufman("Being John Malkovich", "Adaptation", "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind") scripts , and it takes Kafka's story and modernizes it in unexpected ways.
A woman with a rare condition which causes her to grow hair all over her body in vast amounts, forsakes the world and becomes a nature writer, who leaves her isolation only to find a mate. Tom Robbins plays this mate, a fastidious, obsessive compulsive, scientist obsessed with teaching table manners to mice.
The two then meet a man who was raised as an ape by his father who went insane after the Kennedy assasination, and the scientist and his now shaved assistant decide to make an example of the ape-man by civilizing him.
If this sounds a bit ridiculous I should also add that there are three different versions of the story being narrated by Tim Robbins from the afterlife to whatever powers that be, Patricia Arquette to the police in an interrogation room, and Rhys Ifans (our ape man) testifying before congress.A funny, egeniusly smart, wonderfully stylized film, from a writer director team who would go on to "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind".All performances are also top notch, in this crinimally underseen, and fascinating film.

No comments: