"I was born and I will die, and that is all the meaning that I have," says an actor in "Monkey Sandwich," and Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus' directorial debut similarly seems to exist strictly between its opening and closing shots.
“I was born and I will die, and that is all the meaning that I have,” says an actor in “Monkey Sandwich,” and Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus’ directorial debut similarly seems to exist strictly between its opening and closing shots. A semi-experimental tripartite meditation on the acting profession, people’s need for stories and leadership, and a host of other themes besides, this English-language pic might interest some avant-garde fests.
Strong opening half-hour features the most conventional story, involving a fanatical English theater director, Jerry (Jerry Killick), who battles it out with the insecure actors of a German troupe. Segment’s play-within-a-film scenes are often transportive, suggesting that good acting can make auds forget about the inherent artificiality of theater — or cinema. But the second and third parts, which star Killick as two unrelated characters also named Jerry, are not logically or even thematically linked to part one. Closing part, involving a hunting trip with disturbing targets, is especially nonsensical. Lensing, in a combo of Super 16, 35mm and Canon HD, is a shallow-focus feast, especially early on; score thrives on dissonance. Title suggests urban legends in Dutch.