Urban Cinefile ROCKWELL, SAM : Lawn Dogs
John Duigan's "Lawn Dogs'' is like a nasty accident at the symbol factory. Pieces are scattered all over the floor as the wounded help each. Lawn Dogs () on IMDb: Movies, TV, Celebs, and more. actor Mischa Barton) and the above mentioned Trent (Rockwell) and their relationship. .. But while the end has to do with the class system talked about on the video jacket, this is. Festival for his performance in Australian director John Duigan's Lawn Dogs, The film explores the complex relationship between the pair, a relationship that is ultimately misunderstood. And the ending of this movie still blows me away.".
I really enjoyed this film. It not only inspires hope, but also possesses a depth sorely lacking in the majority of American films. Much of the symbolism in the story seems to be lifted directly from classical mythology: From the open nakedness of both heroes in the beginning, a necessary reduction of the self to its bare essentials before it can be remade into something new, Trent holding up traffic to dive naked from a one-lane bridge into the local river, a kind of spectacular baptism into a new beginning, and Devon removing her nightgown to bay from her rooftop, like some essential mythic beast imploring the gods of night; to the adorning, i.
In von Franz's story, a red handkerchief substitutes for the towel. The girl runs, throwing her magic comb and her red handkerchief behind her. Bestrewing one's trail with objects is characteristic of the magic flight. This act of throwing away things of value is a sacrifice; one throws things over one's shoulder to the dead, or to spirits, or to the devil, to propitiate those whom we dare not face.Lawn Dogs Trailer 1998
It may seem panicky to abandon valuable possessions when one is escaping, but one who stiffens himself into a defensive attitude is easily cut down by an assailant stronger than himself, whereas stripping oneself gives mobility.
There are situations in which one absolutely has to give up wanting anything, and in this way one slips out from under; one is not there any longer, so nothing more can go wrong. When one is confronted by a hopelessly wrong situation, one must just make a drastic leap to the bottom of passive simplicity, and from there one can live it out.
What is more, the objects which have been sacrificed generally transform themselves into obstacles for the pursuer. Its transformation into a natural object suggests that originally it was an integral part of nature.
Actually, there is no thought or instrument or object that has not originated from nature; that is, from the unconscious psyche. One sacrifices to the unconscious what once was wrested from it. The comb is used to arrange and confine the hair. Hair is a source of magic power or mana.
Lawn Dogs (United States, 1998)
Ringlets of hair, preserved as keepsakes, are believed to connect one individual with another over a distance. The coiffure is frequently an expression of a cultural Weltanschauung. Primitive folk tales speak of demons being deloused and combed when they are caught, which means that the confusion in the unconscious has to be straightened out, ordered, and made conscious. Because of this meaning, hair in wild disarray is often dreamed of at the start of an analysis.
- Lawn Dogs (United States, 1998)
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The comb, therefore, represents a capacity for making one's thoughts ordered, clear, and conscious. The red handkerchief that the girl gives up becomes a flame soaring from earth to heaven. Trent, a little puzzled at why this girl has taken an interest in him, sees that she's harmless but understands that people would most likely misinterpret their relationship, and tells Devon that they can be friends, but it has to be secret.
One day, while Trent is mowing a lawn across the street from Devon's house, Devon brings him some water, against her mother's wishes.
Trent gives Devon a turtle, which he rescued by not running over with his mower, or as Trent put it, "turning into spaghetti". Devon's mother, not aware of their friendship, assumes the gift is an implication that Trent wants something from Devon, and his motives are of a sinister nature.
Eventually the innocent relationship between Devon and Trent is discovered, and immediately construed as being something that it's not. I can't really blame them too much, as I would probably be a little suspicious of a twenty plus year old man and a year-old girl spending a lot of time together. Devon actually brings it to light, after an unfortunate incident with a dog. This leads to a violent confrontation outside Trent's home, and an unusual ending that was very unanticipated but ties in nicely with elements of the story.
Lawn Dogs - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes
The ending countered very nicely the sense of pathos I developed as their friendship flourished, knowing that it would end badly. There are many scenes I didn't go into, providing a richer depth of the main characters, fleshing them out quite nicely.
One thing I found quite interesting was the way the community members were so quick to think the worst of Trent, and in the end, labeling him a monster, yet, we see that the true monster lies within themselves, in their infidelities, lies, contempt of those that are different, the sense of superiority that sometimes comes from wealth and power, and the perverse pleasure received by the subtle and not so subtle humiliation of those not in the same social class.
The wide screen presentation is very nice, along with the audio, and the special features include trailers and filmographies of the director and some of the stars.
Ignore the cover art on the DVD case, as it alludes to some kind of sexual encounter between the characters shown, which never happens. I'm assuming this was done in an effort to drawn people in, as sex sells, but, if that's your looking for, then you will probably be disappointed.
If your bag is an excellent little movie with interesting characters, good direction, a smidgen of humor, a dash of fantasy, and a rewarding ending, then look no further.
Rockwell is one of those rare actors who can display range. In this movie, he plays a humble, blue-collar "country-bumpkin" who may not be educated or have been graced with the opportunities and status of those he mows lawns for, but nonetheless, has a keen sense of reality and truth about him. He truly brings heart to the movie and Misca Barton doesn't do too bad of job herself.
Be prepared to be have your heart wrenched, yet lifted. A great addition to any collection.