One Man and His Dog | Chicago Reader

One Man and His Dog

Annette Apon directed this lighthearted social comedy from the Netherlands (1998), about a lonely young man in a middle-class enclave of Amsterdam who fabricates a past with photos stolen from other people's family albums. With his wide eyes and droopy face, Ramsey Nasr portrays the main character as naive, eager to please, yet creepy in his voyeurism; he also mirrors the foibles of those around him. Apon, cofounder of an influential film journal, seems to suggest that photographs, as witnesses to past events, can validate a life—even an invented one. Her comedy can be overly cute, but she has a keen eye for the drabness of the setting and treats the inevitable collision of the young man's real and imaginary lives with understated empathy.

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