Director: Bruno Dumont
Year of Release: 2015
Running Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
How to describe auteur Bruno Dumont's latest cinematic oddity Li'l Quinquin? Well, for one thing, it was originally shot as a French TV miniseries and runs a whopping 200 minutes. For another, it seems superficially to be about a small-town murder mystery in which human remains are found chopped up inside livestock. There's a bumbling detective (Bernard Pruvost) with all manner of facial tics, his dim-witted lieutenant (Philippe Jore) attempting to solve the grisly crimes, and the titular Li'l Quinquin (Alane Delhayne), a young firecracker-carrying kid with a gang of bike-riding bullies causing trouble wherever he goes. But no amount of synopsis setup can prepare one for the grandly farcical tone Dumount employs throughout; merging eccentric macabre comedy, one-off jokes, and visual gags with a sophisticated use of space, framing, literature references, and the notion that alienated youth can lead to adult misanthropy. Li'l Quinquin is a singular achievement; it's humor so strange and specific, it's sense of the grotesque folly of man so deftly achieved. It's unlike anything you'll see all year. Just don't expect brisk pacing, police shootouts, and murder mystery resolution.