Man Bites Dog (1992)

Man Bites Dog (Belvaux, Bonzel, Poelvoorde 1992)

Serial killer? How much?

This episode we discuss the cult classic Man Bites Dog. After hearing about it for years, including best of lists as well as personal recommendations from others we finally watched. It is a unique entry into the serial killer sub-genre we have focused on for the series. Black and white, independent, and in French it is all the more impressive that this film gained a U.S. following. While it is hard to live up to three decades of hype, the film is definitely worth watching. If you also struggled to approach this film you are not alone; join us for the discussion.

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Man Bites Dog (Belvaux, Bonzel, Poelvoorde 1992) – please consider watching the film before listening!
Funny Games (Haneke 1997)
Nightcrawler (Gilroy 2014)

TOPIC INDEX – TOPIC INDEX – Man Bites Dog  (Belvaux, Bonzel, Poelvoorde 1992) (times are approximate) 

0:30 – Introductions
2:00 – thus continues a mini-series on serial killers
3:15 – spoilers
5:45 – Movie discussion begins
6:15 – Laura’s history with the film and initial take
8:15 – Marshall’s history and initial take
9:00 – High concept, low budget
12:00 – The Painted Word by Wolfe
13:30 – Laura’s top topics
18:00 – violence meta commentary
22:00 – the film crew
25:30 – 26:30 – spoilers for Funny Games 
26:30 – meta viewers commentary
30:00 – compared to Funny Games and Nightcrawler
39:00 – unethical work in capitalism
40:15 – violence
42:30 – racism
45:00 – class commentary
49:00 – news media vs entertainment
53:00 – the ending
54:00 – sexual assault
58:00 – sociology moment: murder and Durkheim’s solidarity
1:04:00 – quarry
1:07:00 – why does he get caught
1:09:00 – animal references
1:15:00 – downfall
1:20:00 – bird symbolism
1:24:00 – gender and sexism

1:25:30 – grading the film using the Collective Nightmares Evolving Rubric of Social Responsibility

Related Episodes
Monster (Jenkins 2003)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (McNaughton 1986)
Nightcrawler (Gilroy 2014)
The House that Jack Built (von Trier 2018)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 92

horror, podcast, sociology, empathy, sympathy, sexuality, sex work, violence, abuse, sexual abuse, rape, same gender, women, hegemonic masculinity, toxic masculinity, femininity, misogyny, etiology, genre, killing as sport, survival, genre, Omi and Winant, conditions of possibility, racial formations, racial projects, meta-binary, meta, film crew, self referential, sexual assault, neighborhood, NIMBY, normalization, Horta, new modernism, art noveau, Gaudi, capitalism critique, race, racism, mechanical solidarity, solidarity, organic solidarity, Durkheim, white collar crime, corporations, insitutions, birds, satire,