Coincoin and the Extra-Humans | Chicago Reader

Coincoin and the Extra-Humans

The ascetic French filmmaker Bruno Dumont made an unexpected turn into absurdism with his 2014 miniseries Li’l Quinquin, and this 2018 follow-up is even sillier than its predecessor, with more puns, slapstick, and scatological jokes. What makes both works so entrancingly odd isn’t the non-sequitur humor or cartoonish characterizations, but rather the fact that Dumont presents them in the same rigorous, Bressonian aesthetic he’s advanced since his debut feature, The Life of Jesus (1997). We’re not meant to take the plot at all seriously, yet the actors and northern French landscapes exude a forbidding dignity all the same. In this story the mischievous yet affectless youth Quinquin (now a teenager who goes by CoinCoin) seems unperturbed that his rural community has been invaded by extraterrestrials assuming the forms of local residents. Also back is the ruminative police captain Van der Weyden (and his collection of facial tics); he investigates the invasion with the same lovable ineptitude that he brought to the serial murders in the first series. In French with subtitles.

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