Friday, November 18, 2011

Dominique Deruddere: Everybody's Famous!

The story in Dominique Deruddere's Everybody's Famous! / Iedereen beroemd! (2000) is like a melding of John Waters and the Coen Brothers, only gentler and more Flemish. It ruminates on public adulation of and desire for celebrity status, but is more concerned with humanizing social relationships. In a light but engaging way, Everybody's Famous! works in the manner of several other successful independent films -- modestly.

Jean, a struggling sad-faced middle-aged father (played consummately by Belgian actor Jesse De Pauw) hates the dreary factory job where he's worked for more than half of his life; he is also a musical composer who dreams of seeing his seventeen year old singer-daughter Marva (Eva van der Gucht) become a star using music he writes for her; but his relationship with Marva and his wife Chantal is rocky at best.

Things take a wild turn when Jean is laid off. Out of a chance encounter and economic desperation, he kidnaps a pop diva and everything goes haywire. Where the Coen brothers would go sinister here, Deruddere proceeds, more like John Waters, playfully forward, commenting on celebrity and wealth along the way.  Much hay is slyly made of mirrors and masks, such as when Jean meets the pop diva's comically smarmy manager wearing a bizarre Michael Jackson mask, until the manager reveals that he already knows Jean's "real life" identity: he can take off the mask. Everybody's Famous! is also notable in its use of mobile phones as an essential plot device -- "way back" near the turn of the century.

Today's Rune: Movement.       

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like something I could enjoy