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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Shorts > Jean-Jacques Beineix Collection: Locked-In Syndrome (Cinema Libre DVD)

Jean-Jacques Beineix Collection: Locked-In Syndrome (Cinema Libre DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Documentary/Shorts: C



Famed French director Jean-Jacques Beineix, directs 3 different stories in a new DVD collection from Cinema Libre.  They are Locked-In Syndrome, Mr. Michel's Dog, and Otaku.  Each story gives a unique perspective into the life/lives of extraordinary people.  Locked-In Syndrome is the true story of editor-in-chief of French ELLE magazine Jean-Dominique Bauby, after a brain stroke he woke nearly paralyzed in all his body.  In spite of his change, he manages to communicate by only blinking his left eye where he tells his experience through his new world view.  Mr. Michel's Dog is about a man who fools his neighbors that he has an imaginary dog, but life gives him a real twist when the real thing comes along.  Otaku is a documentary that delves into Japanese culture, made up of a mostly male culture of images, animation, and other events.  It tells the story of a phenomenon that has taken its society by storm, about why it developed, why it flourishes and asks the question 'Are the Otaku any really different than any other person?'

These three stories of Jean-Jacques Beineix takes a unique view into a life changed, what people would see as abnormal, handicap, or just a fanatic.  Each story shows the inner thinking, working and thoughts of these people, through reasoning and interviews they shed a bit of insight into the human mind.  Lock-In Syndrome features a story of a man who lost all motor actions feels trapped in his own body and how it has changed his view and values in life.  Mr. Michel's Dog is a amusing short story of how a man fools his neighbors that he has a dog, but soon his theatrics comes back to haunt him.  Otaku is a documentary that breaks the stereotype what people think 'Otaku' is, it's more than just a bunch of kids who are into comics, animation or cosplay.
What these three stories have in common is the people in each, by society; they are no longer considered normal.  And yet after watch their tales the viewer can still understand them and their reasons.  Maybe these people really aren't so strange or different after all, sure their lives are different, regardless of if it was by accident, purpose, or intent, it makes the viewers question is it really so strange or different than anyone who IS 'normal'.



-   Ricky Chiang


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