D O G M A N
Starting with a humble man who loves dogs, DOGMAN appears to be a simple story. But Matteo Garrone's sardonic sense of humor turns dark as tension and complexity builds. Before long we see two sides of the protagonist dog groomer and we see why Marcello Fonte's outstanding performance richly deserves his Best Actor awards at Cannes, Palm Springs and the European Film Awards.
DOGMAN explores the consequences of the daily choices we make in order to survive; the difference between who we are and who we think we are; and the cost of being unable to say no. In short, it's an allegory of marginalized humanity craving acceptance; the struggle between weak and strong; vengeance and redemption.
Tightly directed and beautifully photographed, it is simpatico with its four-legged cast-members (no animals were harmed). Nicolai Brüel's photography uses a mostly grey-blue palette – reminiscent of Kaurismaki's Le Havre – to capture the essence of a dilapidated sea-side resort town north of Naples Indeed, the locale sets the mood for the film – the beach is overgrown and deserted; the buildings and rusty shopfronts are largely abandoned. All this enhances the allegorical thrust, as the desolate nature of the town mirrors the barren souls of those who live there.
Director Matteo Garrone (REALITY, 2012; GOMORRA, 2008; FIRST LOVE, 2004; THE EMBALMER, 2002) shares credit for this film's success with actor Marcello Fonte, who portrays a slight, mild-mannered and sensitive dog groomer. In him, one is reminded of a young Al Pacino or Roberto Benigni – the director commented that Fonte's eyes and facial expressions recall both Chaplin and Keaton, perfect for showing us a hapless dreamer eventually brutalized by dispair.
Parts of DOGMAN are not easy to watch. If your intellectual curiosity needs a little nudge, consider Walter Chaw's observations:
"I've never seen anything like Dogman. It's a crime film, a tender picture about a father and his daughter, a look at poverty, a look at addiction and maybe mental illness, a critique of masculinity at its terminal extremities, and a withering conversation about what friendship can look like between two men. ... Dogman pulls off this impossible highwire act of being completely unique while being entirely relatable." Read the full review.
DOGMAN is an intimate character study of a flawed, but inherently good man who makes bad decisions. The drama unfolds as a David-versus-Goliath love-hate battle between the diminutive, unassuming, almost child-like dog groomer Marcello, and the alpha-male bully Simone (Edoardo Pesce).
Marcello spends his time lovingly tending the canines at his modest dog hotel and grooming salon, caring for his daughter, cultivating acceptance from the men who almost exclusively populate the film, and being pulled into petty criminal schemes by Simone, who terrorizes the neighborhood.
Separated from his wife, Marcello is devoted to his daughter, Alida (Alida Baldari Calabria). To pay for the expensive holidays on which he takes her, Marcello sells cocaine on the side to friends and business acquaintances.
Drugs and Simone's abusive nature makes for a bad mix and Marcello finds himself increasingly sucked into nefarious activities. When the exploitation and abuse becomes overwhelming Marcello faces a crucial and dangerous decision. In order to regain his dignity and atone for misdeeds he must risk everything. The result is not what he expected.
☀ DOGMAN, director Matteo Garrone; 2019; Italy/France; in Italian with English subs; 102 minutes. This film is Not Rated, but we would assign an "R" rating for violence and drug usage.
Winner, Best Actor, Cannes, Palm Springs, European Film Awards. Nominee Best Film, Cannes; 9 Donatellos (Italian Oscars); Italy's 2019 Oscar entry, Best Foreign Language film. 33 festival wins and 25 nominations, including wins at Jersualem, Trieste and Berenice.
☀ DATES & TIMES:
Friday, May 10, 7 PM
Saturday, May 11, 4 PM
Saturday, May 11, 7 PM
Sunday, May 12, 4 PM
Evenings: Venue opens at 6:00; seating at 6:30.
Matinees: Venue opens at 3:00; seating at 3:30.
the GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St, Cincinnati 45202.
☀ PARKING & DIRECTIONS:
Parking Options Google Map Drone View
Ample parking at affordable rates — 1,700+ garage spaces within two blocks ‐ Gramercy Garage (next door, enter via Race, 7th or Elm streets), Garfield Garage (9th St., next to the Phoenix) and Macy's Garage (7th Street). Another 363 surface lot spaces within a couple blocks, plus numerous on-street meters.
Other transport options include the Street Car, Metro, Tank, Uber, Red Bike, etc.
Adult general admission, $10 advance, $15 door.
Student/ArtsPass general admission, $8 advance, $12 door — must show valid ID upon arrival.
Advance sale ends 3 hours before show time, tix thereafter available at the door.
☀ ADA ACCESS: Revamped and improved ADA access, with a direct path to wheelchair spaces and companion seats (no ramps, no stairs). Individuals using walkers or wheelchairs should call ahead to let us know your screening date and time, (859) 957-3456.
☀ DINING & LIBATIONS:
It couldn't be easier — across the street from the Garfield, you'll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks. General Manager Randy Procter is offering CWC patrons an inaugural 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol.
You'll need your online ticket purchase confirmation or ticket stub from the event. Discount valid only for the date of ticket.
Enjoy a pre- or post-film meal or coffee and dessert, or hang at the bar. Hours: TUE-THS - Dining, 5-10 pm; bar 3:30 - midnight. FRI-SAT - Dining 5-11 pm; bar 3:30 - 2:30. SUN - Dining 5-9 pm; bar 3:30 - 1-pm. Dinner reservations are recommended, call 513-954-8974. Check out the menus and photos: thebutcherbarrel.com.
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