Lemming

Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Andre Dussolier, and Charlotte Rampling. Directed Dominik Moll. French with Enhlish subtitles.
Running Time: 129 mins
Rated: Rated M.
Beware lemmings, those furry rodents from Scandinavia who, myth says, rush to cliffs and leap over to their deaths. This film says otherwise: at a time of overpopulation they migrate; but when they are swimming across large lakes, they die from exhaustion. Now, what that has to do with this film is another matter. They may be symbols for us to ponder. They may just be red herrings, Hitchcock's McGuffin.

It's not easy to describe Lemming let alone categorise it. It seems to belong to a new set of films (see, for instance, John Maybury's The Jacket) which are psychodramas of the sub-conscious, life as it might be lived for good or evil, not necessarily life as it is being lived. And, at the end, to highlight his point, the director has the song "Dream a little dream of me'.

The director is Dominik Moll who made the strikingly offbeat thriller, Harry, He's Here to Help. It is co-written with Harry collaborator, Giles Marchand, who directed Who Killed Bambi. The acting credits are very impressive as w ell, actors well cast and carrying us on with this strange story. Laurent Lucas is a hotshot automation inventor, happily married to Benedicte (Charlotte Gainsbourg). They live comfortably but when the boss (Andre Dussolier) and his wife (Charlotte Rampling) come to dinner, things begin to go haywire. At t his point, it is wise to leave plot development because that is the point of seeing the film: looking at what Moll presents and trying to discern what is real and what is not.

Lemming is the kind of film that grows on you with reflection.

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and an associate of the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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