Quentin Dupieux

Nonfilm (2001)
5.0 Steak (2007)
7.5 Rubber (2010)
5.0 Wrong (2012)
6.0 Wrong Cops (2013)
7.7 Reality (2014)
5.0 Keep an Eye Out! (2018)
7.3 Deerskin (2019)
6.0 Mandibles (2020)
6.0 Incroyable Mais Vrai/ Incredible but True (2022)
6.8 Fumer Fait Tousser/ Smoking Causes Coughing (2022)
6.0 Yannick (2023)
6.0 Daaaaaaali! (2023)

Quentin Dupieux (France, 1974), active since the mid-1990s as the techno dance musician Mr Oizo, directed many commercials and music videos and notably the short Nonfilm (2001) and the bizarre comedy Steak (2007), starring the comic duo Eric et Ramzy. It's a parody of horror movies, of Louis de Funes' farces, and of campus movies like John Landis' National Lampoon's Animal House, but a bit amateurish, and not very funny. A soldier is driving along a country road when his wig flies off and he loses control of the vehicle. A high-school kid, Georges, on a skateboard finds the vehicle overturned on the road and steals the assault rifle of the deceased driver. At school Georges is being bullied every day by the other kids. One day, looking for revenge, he follows three bullies, pulls out the assault rifle and guns them down. He the walks like a zombie in the middle of the road, still holding the gun. His friend Blaise sees him and is attracted to his gun. Georges keeps walking away like a zombie. The cops arrive, looking for the kid with the gun, and arrest this friend.
Blaise spends seven years in a psychiatric hospital. The day he is released, Georges receives the news by telegram. Blaise is not excited to leave the hospital. The director gives him a final gift: a videotape which is a collage of Blaise's life at the hospital. Georges is waiting for you outside but his face is completely bandaged, so Blaise is initially terrified. Georges gives him a ride. Along the way Georges explains that many things have changed including humor, but he's unable to tell a decent joke. Georges is wearing a jacket that says "Chivers". Georges explains that he had plastic surgery on his face. Far from being grateful that Blaise spent seven years in a madhouse for him, Georges is rude and simply drop off Blaise at his parents' house. Blaise finds the house empty and a letter from his mother that explains how their life has been ruined after his internment, how they have been persecuted and discriminated by the townfolks.
Georges, now a university student, is a member of a campus gang, the "Chivers". We see them in the classroom, rather indifferent to what the professor is teaching. They all drink milk and don't smoke. They try to look tough. They play a weird sport that looks like cricket but with a giant die and some cryptic arithmetic calculations. Blaise is riding the bicycle around town. After meeting a waiter, Bruno, who asks him for an autograph, Blaise spots Georges and waves at him. Georges is ashamed and sends him away. Back home, Georges realizes that Blaise forgot a videotape and watches it, and so he sees a summary of Blaise's life at the madhouse. His doctor removes the bandages and reveals a brand new face. It appears that cosmetic surgery necessary to be admitted to the gang. Blaise tries again to revive their friendship but Georges is even more rude and tells him never to bother him again. Blaise initially thinks it's a joke in the style of new humor. Then he rides away angry on his bicycle and throws the bicycle into the river. Blaise goes home and uses a stapler to painfully perform cosmetic surgery on himself. To get the attention of the leader of the gang, Dan, Blaise saves him (grotesquely) from an attacker. Dan renames Blaise “Chuck” and accepts him into the gang. Georges sees it and angrily expels Blaise. But Georges has been smoking, which is not allowed by the gang, and so he is expelled for real and they beat him savagely calling him "traitor". Meanwhile, a desperate Blaise is trying to raise money for a real cosmetic surgery. He robs a wheelchair-bound man who then offers him money to steal a car. They use the car to kidnap a little girl. They call the mother who agrees calmly to pay ransom as if this happened all the time. She delivers a briefcase full of money to Blaise without trying to call the police. The mother in fact is even attracted to Blaise and tries to seduce him. Chuck uses the money to get cosmetic surgery and shows up all bandaged (like Georges was) to a gang gathering in the woods. Georges, devastated that he has been expelled from the gang, shows up and threaten the gang with a chainsaw. They don't take him seriously and in fact he can't start the chainsaw. Blaise is even more clumsy. He grabs a gun to stop Georges and instead kills Dan. Blaise and Georges runs away together, but then start bickering and the police easily captures them.

Dupieux then moved to the USA, where he started a new career specializing in surrealistic zany satires.

Rubber (2010), shot with a video recorder, is a satire of moviemaking itself. The spectator is constantly aware of being a spectator. We are watching a film that is being watched by spectators (a film within the film) and that exists only insofar as there are spectators. The actors even wish the spectators dead so they could go home. The movie ends when the last spectator dies, except that a new movie starts, implying an infinite loop of entertainment reincarnation. And the nihilistic conclusion, or, better, premise, is that there is "no reason" for this infinite loop. We are slaves of our own meta-fiction, which ends only when we die, except that we will be dead for real while the meta-fiction will resume for other consumers. It is a formidable parable of post-modernist philosophy.

The film opens with a still image of empty chairs on a gravel road in the desert. Then we see a spectacled man holding dozens of binoculars who is waiting for someone. A car drives by and hits all the chairs. The car stops in front of the spectacled man. A sheriff gets off from the trunk of the car. He talks to the spectators about the irrationality of cinema and points out that things happen "for no reason", including the film that we're about to see. As he leaves (again in the trunk of the car), we see that a crowd is watching. The spectacled man of the first scene distributes the binoculars. They all point the binoculars in the same direction to watch the film.
The opening credits roll in and the film begins. So far we've only seen garbage scattered through the desert. A rubber tire starts moving by itself in the sand, like an animal that is waking up. It demonstrates a vicious temper when it kills a scorpion. It even crushes objects by simply "focusing" on them (vibrating intensely), without touching them. The spectators discuss their impressions of the movie so far. One spectator is even filming the film and another spectator reminds him that it's illegal. The rubber now zigzags happily through the desert. The following morning the spectacled man of the first scene wakes up the spectators who have slept in the desert in sleeping bags. They point their binoculars at the rubber and the film resumes. The rubber uses its telekinetic power to make a rabbit explode and then rolls to the highway where a sexy woman drives by. The rubber vibrates, trying to make the car explode. The car stops. The tire starts rolling towards the car but it is hit by a truck and kicked by the side of the road. The woman restarts her car and drives away. The tire is alive. It gets up again and makes a bird explode. The truck driver overtakes the woman and then stops at a gas station to make a phone call. The rubber slowly rolls into the gas station and makes the head of the man explode. (We see the spectators shocked). The tire rolls away on the highway while a police car is rushing to the gas station. The tire rolls into the parking lot of a motel and tracks down the car of the sexy woman. She left the door of her room ajar. The tire watches while she is undressing to take a shower. (The spectators are delighted by this scene but two women get angry at the men making salacious comments). The tire spies the sexy girl until she shuts the door of the room. The tire enters another room, jumps on the bed and watches television.
It's evening again and the spectators are preparing to go to sleep. The spectacled man of the first scene checks in at the same motel in the company of a turkey and receives a phone call from a man whom he calls "master". In the morning the spectacled man leaves the motel on his bicycle and sees the maid who is cleaning the rooms. He again wakes up the sleeping spectators and feeds them the turkey, which they eat raw, fighting over its parts like animals. At the motel the maid finds the rubber inside a room (taking a shower!) and throws it out. Needless to say, the psychokiller tire rolls back into the room. The truck driver's teenage son saw it but his father doesn't believe him. Inside the room there are signs of a body that exploded and the tire is watching a television documentary on turtles. The tire sees the sexy girl pass by and follows her to the swimming pool but doesn't kill her. The truck driver sends his boy to buy him a pizza. The boy on the way back, angry at his father, sees the exploded bird and throws pieces of its flesh on the pizza as toppings. A hitchhiker sees him. The tire dives into the swimming pool (The spectators are getting sick after eating the turkey, except one wheelchair-bound man who didn't eat any of it). Back to the motel, the boy checks the room where he saw the tire and finds the exploded body of the maid. The sexy girl is eating at the nearby diner when the sheriff and an ambulance arrive. The boy tries in vain to explain that the tire is the killer. His father gets angry at him for joking about a murder, and the sheriff simply ignores him. We realize that the truck driver is the owner of the motel and the maid was his employee.
The sheriff's watch beeps to alert him that all spectators have died of the poisoned turkey, so the sheriff abruptly stops investigating and makes an announcement to his staff of cops that the movie is over and they can go home. The staff is puzzled. He is treating them like actors, but the actors behave like it's real life. He tries in vain to prove to them that this is just a movie. They don't believe him. He orders them to shoot at him, so they can see that it's all fake. It's not enough to convince them. He asks them to open the bag containing the corpse, certain that the actress would come out alive and well, but instead the bag contains a real headless corpse. Now the sheriff is the one to be puzzled. The spectacled man of the first scene approaches him and whispers that a spectator didn't eat the turkey and is alive and watching them, so the movie has to go on.
The sheriff returns to the motel owner and resumes the investigation. The tire blows up the head of the motel owner. The sheriff sees the tire roll away. The tire sees itself in a mirror and seems to think about all the things that happened so far, going back in time to the time that it was part of a car. The boy confronts the tire and the tire rolls away as if scared by a human who treats it like a sentient being. The sheriff now informs his staff of cops that the suspect is a tire. The boy tells them where the tire went and they drive after it.
Meanwhile, the spectacled man serves a delicious lunch to the wheelchair-bound spectator, obviously hoping to poison him. The spectator refuses to eat and keeps staring in his binoculars. The spectacled man reveals that the movie has no ending. He then gets hungry and starts eating the food, still trying in vain to tempt the spectator. The spectator still ignores him and the spectacled man died in extreme pain like all the other spectators, begging in vain for help. The spectators continues to watch the movie with his binoculars.
A police car catches up with the tire. The tire vibrates and explodes the head of one of the cops. The tire resumes its journey on the highway. The tire stops by a group of people burning a bunch of tires and causing a huge black cloud in the sky. The tire goes on a killing spree. After three days the cops find headless bodies all over the area. The cops find the tire inside a house watching television (a car race) and set up a female mannequin laden with explosives. The cops watch from a distance and provoke the tire via radio. They use the sexy girl's voice to lure the tire. The tire hesitates in front of the mannequin. The wheelchair-bound spectator suddenly shows up in person in the scene, complaining that this scene makes no sense: why not just shoot the tire to pieces? (One cop shouts that this spectator is the only reason that the scene exists at all, otherwise they would have already ended the movie). The sheriff agrees to speed up the scene and tells the spectator to watch. The tire blows up the mannequin's head but the explosives fail to explode. The sheriff has had enough: he walks into the house and shoots the tire to pieces. The spectator now complains that this rushed ending sucks. A tricycle comes out of the house. The spectator is excited that the movie is continuing: the rubber has reincarnated as a tricycle. But the tricycle vibrates and blows up the spectator himself. The cops and the sexy girl leave on the unpaved road of the beginning. The tricycle heads for the highway, and along the way resurrects tires that start following it. The tricycle stops, backed by its army of tires, and we see that it's heading for Hollywood.

Then came the mystery thriller Wrong (2012), a bit too anarchic and not funny at all. It looks like Dupieux improvised the plot on the fly.

The film opens with the images of a van on fire. Dolph wakes up and can't find his dog anywhere. His neighbor is weird. He denies that he jogs every morning (although he is known for doing precisely that) and announces that he has decided to leave the neighborhood. Dolph dresses up and calls pizza-delivery service to argue about their logo. He has a long and pointless conversation with their phone attendant Emma but she seems to enjoy it. Dolph tries to drive to work but is stopped by a rude cop: the road is closed because of the van on fire. When Dolph finally reaches the office, people are normally at work despite the fact that is raining heavily inside. He starts typing on his computer but his coworkers look at him like something is not right. At the end of the day they ask him why he keeps coming to work: he was fired three months earlier and his computer doesn't work (he pretends to type). Back home, Dolph finds his gardener Victor who wants to discuss his palm tree that turned into a pine tree. Dolph also finds a bunch of flowers with a note to call a phone number about his dog. A guy delivers a pizza free of charge. Dolph asks the gardener to replace the pine tree with another palm tree. Dolph throws away the pizza but Victor promptly picks it up from the garbage can. Dolph calls the phone number and a mysterious man gives him an address for a meeting. Dolph didn't see that the pizza box contained a message from phone attendant Emma offering sex. Victor finds it and calls Emma. Dolph drives around looking for his dog Paul. And then shows up as usual in the office, pretending to work, and as usual it's pouring rain into the office. Then he drives to the meeting point. A woman informs him that the mysterious man, named Master Chang, is running late and hands him a life-changing book titled "My Life, My Dog, My Strength". Meanwhile, Victor has slept with the sex-starved Emma. In the morning Emma informs Victor that she has decided to leave her husband and move in with him (still thinking that Victor is Dolph). When he finally shows up, Chang gives him a delirious speech. Chang reveals that his company kidnaps pets so that their owners realize how much they love them. Chang apologizes but in this case something went wrong: the kidnapper had an accident and died (presumably the van on fire at the beginning) and the dog escaped. Chang has hired a pet detective to find the dog. Chang gifts Dolph of a new edition of his book "My Life, My Dog, My Strength" and says that he repudiated the old edition. As distraught as he is, Dolph nonetheless becomes a compulsive reader of the book, which also discusses telepathic communication. Ronnie, the pet detective, shows up to investigate. Victor the gardener tells Dolph to meet Master Chang at his office, claims that someone is speaking through him because he actually knows nothing of this Chang, and dies of a heart attack. The ambulance driver who picks up the corpse delivers the same message about Chang (and we are left to wonder if he too will succumb to the telepathy). Mike the neighbor calls Delph from a desert: he has no idea where he is and is confused why he is there. Dolph visits Chang and Chang tries to convince him to adopt a homeless dog which turns out to be a boy, Joshua, ominously adding that a refusal would have consequences. Dolph refuses and returns home. Emma, who left her husband, shows up at Dolph's place looking for Victor. The real Dolph looks obviously very different from the Dolph she slept with but she still assumes that they are the same person and moves in with a loving smile on her face. Dolph, who has never seen her before, lets her in, and she starts unpacking her belongings and rearranging his house. She even announces that she's pregnant of his child. Victor returns alive and well, offering to improve the look of the new palm tree, which is too short. Dolph doesn't look surprised at all and doesn't even mention Emma. When Emma finds Victor in the kitchen, Victor is surprised but Emma simply notices that he changed from the night before. Dolph returns to the office, again pretending to work, and, as usual, it rains inside the office. Her old boss summons him to her office and orders him to never set foot there again. He is so distraught that on the way back rear-ends a car. The driver doesn't get upset: instead, he tells Dolph that Ronnie the detective wants to see him. Emma enters labor right away and demands that Victor takes her to give birth at the beach. Ronnie shows him a video of the dog's intestine's memories, derived from analyzing the dog's shit found in Dolph's yard. The video initially is just some floating blur, which represents what the shit "remembers" of being inside the dog, but then the turd exits the dog and lies on the grass, from which angle it shows what happened to the god: we see the dog being kidnapped. Ronnie is excited that he discovered what happened to the dog. But Dolph tells him that he knew that from the beginning. At the same time Chang calls to cancel the investigation because Dolph didn't accept to adopt the dog/boy. Outside a stranger has painted Dolph's car pink. Victor takes Emma to the beach and then uses a broken bottle to hit Emma in the belly, causing an abortion. Then we see someone burying Victor alive. Dolph walks home and at some point, miracolously, his dog jumps out of a bus. Master Chang has witnessed the event and is moved seeing how happy Dolph is. Dolph calls Mike the neighbor who is still driving in the desert.

Then came the black comedy Wrong Cops (2013).

His meta-fiction masterpiece Reality (2014) begins as a tribute to B-movies but then begins to absorb references to Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, David Cronenberg's Videodrome (the killer TV sets), David Lynch's Lost Highway (the phone call made by a person who is actually sitting in front of the person receiving it), Brian DePalma's Blow Out (the groan) and especially Luis Bunuel, and all them filtered through the madcap humor of a Louis de Funes' slapstick. It is a film of nested dreams and movies, of narrative gags that wrap around themselves like moebius strips. People enter other people's dreams and their own dreams, so that, trapped in a cobweb of derams, we never figure out who is the dreamer. Characters from the non-film dimension interact with characters from the film dimension, blurring the border between fiction and reality, but also between different fictions, like in a case of extradimensional telepathy. The film, multi-layered and multi-dimensional, flows inside a pulsating time warp, an infinite loop of reality-dream oscillations, but rather than a high-brow philosophical meditation this resembles a ride in a maze of distorted mirrors in a funhouse. If Alice in Wonderland enters a rabbit hole, this film enters a whole field of interconnected rabbit holes. The whole is punctuated by the obsessive repetition of Philip Glass' "Music with Changing Parts" (1971).

A hunter kills a wild hog and then carries it to his car. His little girl Reality is sleeping in car hugging a doll. A presenter, Dennis, wearing a rat costume, is filming a TV show. He keeps scratching himself because of a rash, which annoys his producer. The hunter cleans up the entrails of the animal and a videotape falls off, which then ends in the garbage can: the little girl saw it. Dennis blames the detergent used to wash the rat costume but the problem is that only he can see the rashes on his body. The girl's parents don't believe that she saw a videotape come out of the hog's belly. Suddenly a woman is reading her a fairy tale about a girl who saw a videotape in the entrails of a hog. Before falling asleep the girl repeats that she saw that videotape. And now we seen a private screening of the video of the girl in bed. The French producer Bob gets annoyed that the director Zog has spent so much time filming such a trivial scene: the girl falling asleep.
The cameraman of the show, Jason, meets producer Bob to sell him the idea of a horror movie titled "Waves" in which all TV sets of the Earth start sucking the intelligence of viewers and then exterminate all humanity. The producer is interested but obsessed with how the humans would groan in pain so he approves the project only if Jason can create a superlative groan in 48 hours.
A man dressed like a woman is driving a jeep. He stops at a traffic light next to the car of Reality's father and Reality, in the passenger seat, stares at the man as if she knows him and is shocked seeing him dressed like a woman. The man knocks at a door holding a bunch of flowers but when an old man opens the door he walks away furious. We see that this is just a dream that the man, Henri, is explaining to female psychologist Alice (which makes us wonder whether Reality is real). The man is worried that the old man is always in his dreams. He also dreams that he dresses like a woman and drives around in a jeep (which we thought was Reality's reality). The session is disrupted by a loud groan. It turns out that Alice is the wife of aspiring director Jason, who is trying to emit the most terrifying groans.
Meanwhile, a doctor kicks Dennis out of his office for wasting his time: the presenter has no rash. Dennis is furious because he's convinced he has a virulent rash. Jason is spending all the time uttering the most awful of groans. Reality is eating breakfast and watching the TV program hosted by Dennis in a rat suit. Unseen by her parents, Reality picks up the videotape from the garbage can. Dennis claims that he's itching so badly that he can't work anymore. Reality's schoolteacher teaches a lesson about the hog's diet: Reality mentions videotapes and the whole class laughs at her. Jason is visiting different places where people groan to find the perfect groan.
We suddenly see that Alice's client Henri is the principal in Reality's school. After seeing that she has a videotape, Henri demands that Reality surrenders the videotape, but Reality refuses and threatens to tell people that Henri dresses like a woman.
Jason dreams that he wins the Oscar for best groan. In the dream he is surrounded by faceless mannequins and he can't get up from the chair. Jason can't find the perfect groan and asks Bob for an extension of the deadline. Bob grants him an extra 24 hour. Meanwhile, Bob is shooting at surfers from his balcony and we see him killing one.
Jason and Alice go to the movies and Jason realizes that they are showing a movie titled "Waves", like his own movie. The movie has already started but Jason can easily recognize his own idea of killer TV sets. Whoever made it used a lot of groans. Furious, he walks on stage and tells the audience that they have to stop watching because the movie is not finished yet. We assume that this is a dream. We see again the past scene of the producer giving Jason 48 hours and then the phone rings and it's Jason calling from the movie theater. Bob calmly tells Jason, who is sitting in front of him, that it's Jason calling. Movie-theater Jason tells Bob that his (Jason's) movie sucks. In-person Jason tells Bob that he had the exact same dream. Bob tells movie-theater Jason not to worry because it's just a bad dream.
Movie-theater Jason puts the phone down and sees Reality's father shooting at the wild hog after the wild hog swallows a videotape. The shot seems to injure Jason who emits a glorious groan but he is not recording. His wife congratulates him on the perfect groan and we see that she is reading in bed and the bed is in the middle of the woods. Then we see Reality's father carrying the hog to the car where Reality is waiting, the scene that we saw at the beginning. Jason stops her father and asks to borrow the rifle. Reality asks her father who that was and he denies that there was anyone. An alarm goes off and... Reality wakes up. So this was all a dream: she dreamed of Jason, whom she doesn't know, and it's not clear when the dream started. But actually now Reality is dreaming because, as she wakes up, she sees a man in her room: Zog the director who was filming her in a previous scene. She whispers to him that she wants to watch the videotape but he sends her back to sleep. He filming her again while she is sleeping.
Jason returns to work and films Dennis, who now has a bad rash on his face. Another Jason walks in a few minutes late and sees... himself at the camera. This second Jason faints. Dennis wakes up: it's his dream. But then we see that Jason fainted for real. The staff tries to wake him up. Suddenly multiple people are trying to wake up Jason in multiple places: his wife in the movie theater, where he has fallen asleep watching the movie, and Bob on his balcony, where Jason has fainted. On stage a Dennis with no rash faces Dennis with the rash. Jason wakes up in the car. It was a dream of dreams. As he walks out of the car, he sees a TV set emitting a killer wave: his movie. He wakes up on the set of the TV program and walks to his car. Dennis approaches him and tells him that he thinks they are the same person. Jason drives away without replying.
Zog the director falls asleep in Reality's bedroom and Reality sneaks out to watch the videotape. Reality puts the videotape into her family's VCR. Suddenly we are back in Bob's private screening of Reality, filmed by Zog. Bob, Zog and staff are watching the footage of Reality watching the videotape.
Two Jasons driving identical cars arrive at the same place, but one has the rifle. This one walks into a mental hospital and asks to be locked in a cell because he's losing his mind. First thing he calls Bob from his cell. Bob is watching the Reality documentary. He apologizes that he's late with the groan and blames it on being stuck inside a bad dream. And now we see what Reality is seeing in the videotape: Jason calling from the mental hospital! While Bob is talking to Jason on the phone, Bob is watching Reality watch a video of Jason talking to him on the phone. After having criticized Zog all the time during the private screening, Bob congratulates Zog for the brilliant idea. When the nurse tries to give him a sedative, Jason tells her that it is not necessary because he's already asleep, in fact dreaming. Reality is watching the scene, and Bob is watching Reality watch the scene. The nurse insists and pushes a suppository inside his rectum, making him groan. Bob cheers: it's the perfect groan and he declares himself ready to sign the contract with Jason. The private screening ends and Bob congratulates Zog on the brilliant documentary. We now see a previous scene in which Bob and Jason were standing on the balcony and Bob was telling Jason that Zog is a genius who just made a wonderful movie: it's the movie we just watched.
We see an exalted Jason leaving Bob after they made the 48-hour deal.
We see the scene of Dennis with no rash confronting Dennis with rash but viewed on the multiple screens of the producer's station.

He moved back to France for Au Poste/ Keep an Eye Out! (2018), a far more coherent and tedious comedy that revolves around a farcical interrogation. The jokes are little more than high-school pranks.

A man wearing only swimming trunks conducts an orchestra outdoors until the police arrive. He runs into the woods, chased by the cops. The scene then shifts to the police station, where the chief's radio is playing the same bombastic music (composed by David Sztanke). We see that the half-naked conductor has been arrested. The police chief (the "commissaire") spends an eternity on the phone with his friend Nadine to agree on a time to meet before resuming his interrogation of a man, Fugain, who has discovered a dead body. The commissaire asks a lot of stupid questions and details. Fugain is exhausted and starving. The commissaire, indifferent to Fugain's exhaustion, walks out to have a chat with his son, who candidly reveals that he was suicidal but no longer. The commissaire leaves his one-eyed helper, Philippe, to watch Fugain. After a demented discussion, this clumsy Philippe trips and accidentally kills himself. Fugain, panicking, cleans up the blood and hides the body into a closet. Meanwhile a female cop is trying to explain to the commissaire something that looks suspicious but the commissaire is a complete imbecile. The commissaire comes back and resumes the interrogation. The commissaire lights up a cigarette and reveals that there's a hole in his lungs and we see smoke come out of it. Fugain explains what he did the night of the murder, and why nosy neighbor Carine saw him walk out repeatedly. The commissaire keeps asking irrelevant questions, suspecting Fugain of the murdeer. Philippe's wife pops up looking for her husband and announces that she's pregnant. Philippe intrudes in the flashbacks that document Fugain's testimony. Fugain wastes a lot of time on excruciatingly irrelevant facts. Philippe's wife pops up in one of Fugain's flashbacks. He tells her that he met Philippe in the future and that her husband will die and that he, Fugain, will be accused of murdering him. The commissaire interrupts the interrogation to tell a story and Fugain is able to see the flashback that we see. Fugain doesn't believe the story and the commissaire admits that he made it up. A janitor picks up a bucket from the closet but didn't notice Philippe's body. Fugain can breath again and continues his story. It gets more interesting after he says that his wife sleepwalked in the middle of the night. Philippe's wife intrudes again in that flashback. Now the commissaire too begins to intrude in Fugain's flashbacks: we see Fugain in bed with his sleeping wife and the commissaire sitting on a chair in the bedroom and interrogating him. In the flashback Fugain and the commissaire together reenact Fugain's actions of that night, including how he found the dead body. In this flashback the commissaire makes him repeat the actions of that night. Fugain calls the police and says that a different operator picked up this time (which of course conflicts with the past). The commissaire doesn't believe Fugain's story and asks him to start from the beginning again. But an officer walks in with the result of the autopsy: the man died of an indigestion. There was no murder. Fugain is innocent, ready to leave. The officer, on the way out, finds Philippe's eye on the ground, and the commissaire is about to start a new investigation when... the curtain rises and we see that it has been a theatrical production. The audience claps. The actor playing the commissaire and all the other actors, including the one playing Philippe, come on stage to thank the audience. Fugain is the only one who looks surprised. They all go to dinner together. Fugain, who was unaware of being part of a show, thanks them. As they walk out of the restaurant, the commissaire suddenly handcuffs Fugain and Fugain is taken to jail: the interrogation will resume in the morning.

Le Daim/ Deerskin (2019) is superficially a satire about the film industry and at the same time the psychological portrait of a lonely man who loses his mind; and it slowly morphs into a horror movie. Having abandoned the madcap timewarps and metaphysical contortions of his surrealist masterpieces, Dupieux applies his recursive narrative technique to linear, chronological and austere stories with effects that are inevitably more dramatic than comic. His philosophy becomes more about the human condition than about the essence of the universe. The tragic absurd of humanity now prevails over the comic absurd of the cosmos.
A supernatural force still lurks in the background, but ultimately it's all humanity that rules the future. God is deaf-mute. He exacts his punishment, but he is powerless against human folly, which simply transmigrates from a madman to a madwoman. In fact, she represents an even greater form of madness, one level up, a sort of meta-madness: human madness that is thrilled by and explots human madness. He is mad because he kills for a ridiculous goal, and she is mad because she wants to make a movie out of his mad, ridiculous project. He is just mad and unhinged. She is mad, calculating and rational.
Along the way, we are misled into thinking that the girl is the naive gullible being when in fact she's the one using the man, and the real filmmaker.
The soundtrack is by pop, jazz and classical musician Janko Nilovic.

Three young people (two males and a female) swear never to wear a jacket again. A middle-aged man, Georges (Jean Dujardin), tries to flush his jacket into a toilet but only floods the bathroom. He drives a long time, sleeps in the car, reaches an isolated house in the mountains, purchases a vintage motorcycle jacket from the old owner who emphasizes "100% deerskin". The old man also gifts him a digital camcorder. Georges gets a room at a village hotel for one month. Georges doesn't have enough money to pay for it so he leaves his gold wedding ring as collateral and plans to get the money the following day. He makes a phone call to a woman and tells her that he left her, then throws away his mobile phone and walks into the local saloon. He drinks alone at the counter. The young bartender, Denise (Adele Haenel), chats with a friend and he assumes that they are gossiping about his jacket, but they actually see nothing special about it. They ask him his profession and he claims to be a filmmaker, since he is still carrying the camcorder. Later, Denise's friend offers herself as a porn actress. He is offended that she thinks that he's making porn films. She tells him that he doesn't look like a professional filmmaker. Georges is clearly delusional that the jacket projects a higher status. At night he hears a loud noise, like a gunshot. In the morning he finds out that his wife has frozen his bank account. A weird boy watches him in the street. At the local bookstore he steals a book on filmmaking. Back in his hotel room, he speaks to his jacket as if it were a buddy. He keeps filming it or filming himself wearing it. He visits again the saloon where Denise tells him that her friend is a prostitute, and not really a friend. Denise is curious about his filmmaking because she herself is an amateur filmmaker. Walking back to the hotel he talks to the jacket. Later, the jacket talks to him. He doesn't seem surprised. The jacket confesses its dreams: to be the only jacket in the world. Georges has no money to pay the hotel and it turns out that the man who was holding his golden ring has killed himself (the mysterious gunshot). The corpse is being kept in a hotel room. Georges checks the body and retrieves his ring but also finds that the dead man had a deerskin hat, which he steals. He gives the ring to the hotel owner as collateral but again he is told to pay the following day. Georges then approaches Denise and discusses his (non-existent) film project. He makes her take off the jacket because he wants to be the only one wearing a jacket, which she finds odd. He offers her the job of editor but also asks her for money pretending that his credit card was stolen. She naively accepts to give him a lot of money. He gives her a cassette of what he has filmed so far. With her money, he buys deerskin boots. He convinces a young man to surrender all his jackets in exchange for appearing in the movie. Others follow. Now we see the first scene: all these aspiring actors swearing to never wear a jacket again. And he steals all their jackets. The weird kid keeps following him and staring at him. He appears to be deaf mute. Georges throws him a stone and hits him in the face. Meanwhile, Denise started editing Georges' random videos and, interpreting it as an avantgarde philosophical movie about the jacket, is getting excited. He keeps finding excuses and borrowing money from her. When she runs out of money, he curses and doesn't even thank her for what she already gave him. At the hotel he watches the video he just filmed when he tried to convince a young man to give him his jacket and the young man ran away. The jacket behind him is disappointed that he didn't get that young man's jacket. The goal is to destroy all jackets. Georges destroys the ceiling fan of the room to make a deadly sharp weapon. He then approaches two kids wearing jackets and films the encounter. He sends the video to Denise who watches it on her computer. Denise sees that Georges killed the two kids and stole their jackets. She finds the video exciting. Georges' note says that he doesn't have money to continue shooting the film. Denise immediately visits him at the hotel (as usual he demands that she surrenders her jacket) and gifts him deerskin pants. She is so excited about the movie that she promises to find more money. Georges attacks other people in town, using his improvised weapon to slash their throat. He films all the killings and steals all the jackets. He is now a killing machine: the moment he sees someone wearing a jacket, he kills the person and steals the jacket. Georges hires a worker to dig a big hole near the hotel and throws all the jackets into it. Denise shows up with a lot of money: her father sold his business and she's the only heiress. But now Denise demands to be the producer of the film. She reveals that she's always known that he knows nothing about filmmaking. He confesses. But they are united by the goal: make a movie about destroying all jackets (her goal) and destroy all jackets (his goal). She buys him deerskin gloves so to complete his deerskin outfit. He drives out of town and he asks her to film him as he enjoys his outfit. A gunshot kills him. We see it came from the father of the deaf-mute boy who has been spying on Georges. Denise strips him of the jacket and continues filming as she wears his deerskin jacket. The film ends with an Ennio Morricone-esque soundtrack while we see a group of deer on a TV screen and Georges filming himself in front of them.

Mandibules/ Mandibles (2020),

Incroyable mais Vrai/ Incredible but True (2022), scored by Jon Santo, is a rather silly moral parable.

Alain and his wife Marie buy a new home from realtor Franck. The realtor invites them to follow him into a manhole of the basement. A duct leads to the same house but they reemerge 12 hours later. The realtor explains another oddity but we don't hear it. We see that Marie is tempted and they buy the house. The house comes with a wrecked car in the backyard. They invite Alain's obnovious boss Gerard and his girlfriend Jeanne. Marie goes into the duct while they chat with Alain. During dinner Alain reveals that he had his penis replaced with a remotely-controlled electronic penis that even has three vibration speeds and can stay hard as long as desired. Now a flashback shows up what the realtor told them: by entering the duct, they get three days younger. That's why Marie loved the house. Alain is about to disclose this secret to Gerard and Jeanne but Marie strongly opposes divulging the secret. Marie seems to spend all her spare time into the rejuvinating duct. One evening Alain tells her that the neighbor's cat wanted to enter the duct. One day Gerard takes Alain to a shooting range. Gerard falls and damages his electronic penis. Gerard takes the first flight to Japan to get it repaired. Gerard asks Alain to find an excuse with Jeanne. Marie doesn't see any rejuvination in her face despite having been down the duct dozens of times. The cat is still hanging out at the house. Marie takes a rotten apple with her into the duct to prove to the skeptic Alain that the duct does reverse aging. She is ecstatic to see the apple reemerge "unrotten". But Alain finds that it's full of ants, so it turns out that the aging continues inside. Marie doesn't care: she wants to look younger, even if her body keeps aging inside. Marie reveals that she wants to become a famous model. And she returns to the duct: getting younger is now her full-time occupation. Gerard calls from Japan to ask Alain if he can buy a birthday gift for Jeanne. Alain buys something for Jeanne but finds her having sex with another man. The film here goes silent and we see scenes without hearing dialogue. Gerard returns to France. Marie is ever more obsessed with the rejuvinating duct. Gerard finds another girlfriend and marries her, but she finds him touching the butt of his secretary. Marie is going crazy. The cat dies. Marie keeps looking at herself in the mirror. Eventually she looks young enough to start a modeling career but she just doesn't have the talent. Gerard's penis explodes while he's driving and he dies in the accident. Marie goes completely mad and Alain has to send her to a mental asylum. Finally, he can shut down the duct forever with a metal plate. Sound returns to the film. Marie is in her room at the hospital. She breaks a glass and uses a shard to cut her skin: ants come out of the wound.

Fumer fait Tousser/ Smoking Causes Coughing (2022)

Daaaaaaali! (2023) is a biopic of Salvador Dali'.

Yannick (2023) is a brief movie, shot in six days, that takes place entirely inside a theater, perhaps intended as a brief metaphor about a cinema. But it is clearly a minor and slapdash movie. At best, it feels like a variant on Scorsese’s The King of Comedy (except that here is madman abducts an entire theater, including both actors and audience), but without one tenth of the psychological study.

Two actors, a man and a woman (Paul and Sophie) playing husband and wife, are performing a play titled "Le Cocu/ The Cuckold" in a small theater in front of a small audience. They are sitting at a table and arguing. The noise of a flushing toilet announces the entry of a third actor, also a man, Bruno, with whom the wife is having an affair. Suddenly a spectator stands up and tells them that he is not enjoying the comedy. he exlains that his name is Yannick, he works as a night watchman, had to take a day off and travel one hour, and paid to be cheered up, but instead he is feeling more depressed than when he walked in. He doesn't want his money back: he wants them to perform something else. He demands to talk to the director/playwright. The actors, initially shocked, reply that what they are doing is not entertainment but art. He says that he didn't pay for art. One spectator gets angry at Yannick. The actors ask Yannick to leave. After he walked outside, the actors mock him. Yannick hears the laughter and reenters the theater, this time holding a revolver. Yannick asks if anyone brought a computer. A spectator exhibits a laptop. Yannick climbs on stage, sits at the table and opens the laptop (to find sexy images which reveal that the spectator is a voyeur or even a pervert). Yannick opens a word processor and begins to write a new play, which he promises will be more cheerful. As he types very slowly, Sophie offers to type for him, but he doesn't trust her. Paul scolds Yannick for holding the audience prisoner, but Yannick replies that the audience is prisoner of the actors when they perform. He sends a young woman to look for a printer, threatening to kill hostages if she calls the cops. Finally he ends his script and prints copies for the actors. While the actors study the script, Yannick pees on the wall. Yannick then chats with the spectators. He is both curious and obnoxious. He even pressures a girl to let him sleep on her sofa bed so he doesn't have to take a late train home. Meanwhile, the actors whisper to each other their outrage for the situation. Sophie tells Paul that she'll sleep with him if he takes out Yannick. Paul disarms Yannick and then proceeds to humiliate him instead of simply calling he police like Sophie and Bruno would like him to. Paul wants revenge, not just to have him arrested. Paul loses his mind and starts insulting the audience, which is now more terrorized by him than it was by Yannick. Paul confesses that he feels like a loser for playing such shitty plays in such shitty theaters. A man passing by sees through the window that Paul is holding a gun and walks in grabbing a fire extinguisher, with which he knocks Paul out. Yannick recovers his gun. Ironically, Yannick now praises Paul for his performance. Finally, Yannick likes the show. One of the spectators (the one who asked Yannick to leave) leaves the theater disgusted (proving that anyone could do the same, but nobody else does). Yannick encourages the audience to clap at Paul and everybody stands out. Paul gets the best applause of his career. Sophie and Bruno join him on stage to receive the applause. Reconciled with the disrupter, the actors begin to recite Yannick's comedy. Paul plays a doctor, Sophie his assistant Madeleine and Bruno a patient in a coma. The doctor diagnoses that the patient suffers from lack of love. The doctor asks the woman to kiss the patient. The patient wakes up. Despite the gross and badly written farce, the audience laughs, except one spectator who sneaks out. Yannick is moved to tears. Cops armed with assault weapons storm the theater. The screen goes black and we don't see what happens next.

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