MovieChat Forums > Lawn Dogs (1997) Discussion > Brilliant or utter filth?

Brilliant or utter filth?


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brilliant , i didn't think it was filth at all, it was a really beautiful film . i adored it and thought the whole thing was great. Mischa and sam were fantastic and it just showed a real innocence. I thought the whole film was really powerful

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It was a brilliant film, not much else really to say. If anyone found it to be filth they probably need to go back to watching the WWE hall of fame inductions.

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There were no signs of filth threw out the film at all.
Friendly relation ships are not filth.
that’s basically saying if a father has a good friendly relation ship with his daughter then he is filth.

I think personally the main reason Devon like Trent was because she envied him,.
Out of every body she knew he was the less fortunate , but seemed to be the most free,
Devon wanted that freedom , but because she was young and still didn’t understand the world to the extent of a grownup she couldn’t see why her family were better off then Trent.

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Absolutely brilliant. I only recently had the pleasure of seeing this film and I was very impressed with Mischa Barton as a young actress.

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cool i like orangeskulls take on the movie...

i thought the movie showed how everyone was trapped in their roles and it is so interesting to see that yes devon envied trents "freedom"

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that's just my take
i suppose your ment to make your own mind up with this kind of movie
it is what you want it to be

- - - Shame - - -

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Well-Just my opinion-I think there was at least some sexual tension in the movie-Certainly, Devon was attracted to Trent. Whether Trent was attracted to Devon was less clear, but if he was, he wouldn't have acted on it. Their was I think a romantic undercurrent to their friendship, but Trent wasn't about to allow anything to happen.

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it was an amazing film. slightly disturbing, it can't be denied, but amazing nonetheless

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Lawn Dogs is brilliant.
To Better Days,
BRAD

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Devon was attracted to Trent and I think that Trent may have been attracted to Devon but in a non-sexual sence but I think more then anything they were attracted to each others lives. I see their relationship more like a close brother and Sister love and because Trent was quite a bit older then Deven he would be as protective over her as he was which could be more of a fathers love.

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Dear Strait Up 98,
I see their relationship as being a wholesome friendship that's very close.
When Devon encourages Trent to feel her scar from heart surgery...he refuses
showing an obvious sense of propriety when it comes to their friendship.
To Better Days,
BRAD

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sorry orangeskulls but you obviously need to take up some english classes for spelling and grammar. Plus the idea of devon envieing trent is ridiculous, she is too young for such a complication. The true reasoning for their relationship is put through stages, firstly she is intrigued by trent as he is unlike anyone she has met before, secondly trent becomes friendly towards her, and she appreciates this as she is a 'loner' without friends, she perceives trent to be her only friend. Another possible reason for their relationship, however this may be reading a little deep, is that devon knows she should not be friends with trent, as he is a poor guy, a misfit, and it is common knowledge that if you tell a kid not to do something, they want to do it more. Therefore knowing she should not be friends with trent, makes her more friendly with him.

The idea of the film being 'filth' is also a ridiculous notion, and could not be put forward by someone who has actually seen the film, or knows what they are talking about!! The film is clearly a beautiful portrail of innocence in the modern world, to me, the film was made to highlight modern societies prejudices, sterotypes and fear of anything breaking the norm.

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Define: "Better Off"

I mean I hate to bump an old thread and you'll probably never see this but how exactly was Devon's family better off? Her mother was cheating on her father with a boy half her age or more and her father was so obsessed with social standing that he couldn't see that; 1. his daughter was unhappy, 2. his wife was cheating on him and 3. That the real person capable of "touching" his daughter lived right there inside their little village. Yes, they had money and big houses but their community is rampant with thieves (the boy), bullies (the teenagers) and violent vigilantes (the fact that they chose to beat up Trent rather than going to the cops). No one's really happy, they're just wealthy.

Trent, on the other hand, may be poor, he may be living in a "tin can" and he may be looked down on by that fancy village he works in but he has a family that loves him, he grew up in a neighborhood that was bouyant and full of life and he had a REAL friendship with someone who loved him for HIM, not for what he had.

It's not about age and understanding, it's about value. I personally agree with Devon: freedom, truth, love and happiness are more important than material wealth and safety could every be. TRENT is better off, not Devon.

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You threw out the money because there were no signs of filth?!

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Utter, utter filth. Cinematic brainfood for pseudointellectuals.

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Neither.
Its total crap.

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its filth,,, i mean student going to the house of the teacher he sleeps with while her husband is there its disgusting, all teachers who have affairs with students should be shot..

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well it looked like this discussion was reasonably handled until recent comments. Not filth, but not brilliant either. Sturdy performances all round. A good movie.

I also like the irony of "House of 1000 corpses" branding it filth, with such high moralistic tones. Remind me, what happened in that Rob Zombie flick again??

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I really hope you're being sarcastic.

"Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try."

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Of course, the students have nothing to do with it, right?

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To the previous poster who said it was filthy for depicting a student/teacher realtionship:


The film didn't glorify the teacher/student relationship, it depicted the relationship as seedy, wrong, and the people involved as morally challenged.

Saying this film is seedy for having that relationship in it is like saying Blood Diamond is a disgusting film because it shows that people are hurt in the diamond trade.

When the film maker portrays a situation that does occur in real life it doesn't mean they condone that situation, in fact often, it means the opposite.

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The movie was very simple and characters were a bit cliché, but the magic realism and the overall dreamy atmosphere made it special.

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Saw this film on TV recently for the second or third time and i still love it. The acting from the two leads is better and more mature than any of recent times, the script is well written and ties up any loose ends and the locations look stunning. They have been many films made over the years from all over the world that are equally as good, but very few films have a effect on me. Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me are the others but i can add Lawn Dogs to that list. A simply brillient film all round.



Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today.

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An absolute masterpiece, undoubtedly. I only finished watching it ten minutes ago and I'm still haunted by the beautiful dreamlike ending. I haven't felt this way after watching a film in ages, completely and utterly unique, even though the subject matter has been dealt with before in films such us as sling blade, but never in such gorgoues majestic jaw dropping magnificance. As close to perfect as any film could possibly hope to be.

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i thought the friendship between devon and trent was really touching and some of the shots were beautiful, esp the one at the beginning. i liked the fairy tale aspect of the film too. that's what made it for me really. also i thought the soundtrack went really well with the mood of the scenes.

'some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese'

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Brilliant, no question. Absolutely remarkable, magical film-the fairy tale ending was really pushed it over the edge to excellent for me.

I loved their friendship and really, so I don't even want to broach the idea of 'filth' as it was clear there was nothing dodgy going on. Why do people have to tarnish everything these days?

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Why do people have to tarnish everything these days?



um...this movie has some pedophilic type content.
Believe me, theres probably some sickos that really love this movie...

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Lawn Dogs is too good of a film to label it filth...it's not.While this film is clearly not for children it does have fantasy elements,as well as good moments of drama and comedy that makes it a very well rounded film about a gated community full of a bunch of bluenoses who treat the middle class or the poor as trash...except for a little girl who befriends a poor man.
This film is brilliant with a Great cast of actors such as Sam Rockwell,Mischa Barton,Kathleen Quinlan,Bruce McGill and a small part played by the Beautiful Angie Harmon.This film is R rated but the friendship between Sam Rockwell's character
and young Mischa Barton is very clean and very touching.
HAPPY NEW YEARS!
To Better Days,
BRAD

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When I saw this movie for the first time I really enjoyed it (apart from the tacked-on ending that appears to belong to a different film altogether).

On second viewing, I didn't enjoy it as much so it's definately not a brilliant film, but to label it as filth is crazy.

There is nothing pedophilic about Trent and Devon's relationship at all. She is the child physically but, as some scenes show, Trent is the child in the mental sense in some ways. They share a bond in loneliness and they help ease each others worries/doubts/whatever you want to call it.

I think the film is really well-handled by the director, with exceptional acting throughout.
SAM ROCKWELL ROCKS!

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it is an excellently brilliant film. one of the best ive ever seen. ive only seen it once and ive been looking to buy it for some time now.

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Yeah, it's hard to see how someone could think that this is "utter filth" - there is far too much beauty in it. I saw this film a few years ago (I was 21 at the time) and it really touched me. An extraordinarily well-written, emotional film - the best movie I've seen in my life so far.

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Certainly not filth....but trying painfully hard to be an irreverent little indie flick. Doesn't convey its points well, even with an amazing talent like Rockwell, but highly stylized enough to trick some people into thinking they're watching something poignant & meaningful. just like not every popcorn big budget-flick is terrible, not every independent movie is brilliant. learn to watch critically & know the difference.

it has it's moments, and i see how some people might like it. but honestly if you think it's "brilliant" & original you either weren't watching or you're thoroughly unexposed to literature & the independent world of cinema to see that this is as textbook wannabe arty as they come. with underdeveloped characters, literary cliches abound, and symbolism that it practically beats you over the head with, it's an art-house film with no art inside.

but not filth. there are sexual undercurrents in every male/female relationship. even if there's no desire involved, there's still the knowledge that "people will think...(fill in obsene assumptions here)". the movie doesn't do much more than recognize that

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Thank goodness we have someone like tigerlily 10 to tell me that I didn't actually enjoy this movie, I was just tricked into thinking I did. People who are pedantic, snobbish, and insulting are always right, after all!

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Seriously-The symbolism in the movie was rather heavy-handed, I'll grant you that. If that interfered with the enjoyment of the movie, I guess that's understandable. Then again, maybe this has blinded you to the movie's numerous winning points. To name a few:

-The complex and well-drawn characters of Devon, and especially, Trent
-The cultivation of an atmosphere which complements the mythological basis for the movie(slavic folklore, baba yaga et al)
-The beautiful and evocative scenery captured in well-planned shots
-The tragic story of Devon and Trent's ill-fated friendship
-The articulation of class issues
-The humor(especially Devon's slightly misanthropic interactions with her fellow suburbanites, the lampshade-stealing cowboy/general kid, etc)
-The way the Baba Yaga story was "recast" throughout the movie, giving different perspectives on who the characters are and what they represented
-The top-notch performances by Barton and Rockwell
-The poignant and beautiful ending



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I don't think that tigerlily told you you didn't enjoy the film, I think tigerlily's point is that this movie is not all that great, and it's clearly not "brilliant." It has its moments, but it is trying very hard to appear to be something it's not, i.e., an indy art film. A film needn't be brilliant in order for someone to enjoy it, but this movie wants so much to be edgy and different yet it indulges in myriad cliches. The cardboard characters in Camelot Gardens? no nuances at all, just two-dimensional conveniences for our wannabe "outsider" couple to be superior to. And when they are superior to the superficial people, well then, we are too, right? We get to share in their superiority.

There is nothing in this film that hasn't been done hundreds of times in hundreds of better films. You need to see a lot more movies so you can get some perspective here. Thinking this movie is brilliant signals to me that you are very young and impressionable. I don't mean that you are dumb, only under-educated in film. Join Netflix and then watch as many independent films as you can for about two years. Then you will see what tigerlily, I, and several others on this thread are trying to explain. You need to raise your standards a bit, that's all. Your taste in film will mature as you mature. No offense, I'm just suggesting you learn more about film. You will never again call this "brilliant" once you have something truly brilliant to compare it to. I am sure that tigerlily, I, or some others here could offer you a short list of films to check out if you were interested.

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I could sense an undercurrent of pedophilic tension between Devon and Trent, but the film doesn't glorfy it. The film makers try to make that tension realitively unimportant with the incident with Devon and the mother's teenage lover. Even the way the movie was packaged diverts the viewer. Kathleen Quinlen looking seductive on the front cover overwhelms the image of Devon and Trent bonding. I think the sexual tension between Trent and Sean was more bewildering and interesting that the one between Devon and Trent.

All kinds of taboo tensions happen in real life. There will always be an undercurrent of perversion, and we can assign perversion where there is none. I don't think filth is the issue here with this movie.

Overall, the movie has it's moments despite indie movie cliches, other criticisms that have been said before, etc.

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"All kinds of taboo tensions happen in real life. There will always be an undercurrent of perversion, and we can assign perversion where there is none. I don't think filth is the issue here with this movie."

I dont consider this movie filth. But tell me, why do they show her urinating on the car windshield? Is that really something a little girl would do? Why show her suck on the bullet? Why naked on the roof? Is it neccessary she be naked? And near the end, when they decide to show their tummies to each other or something,and Trent seems like he thinks it could be inappropriate. And then she says something like -im not going to show "my TITS..." What little girl calls her chest 'tits'?
Theres some other things like this, but its been a while since i saw it, and its not the most memorable movie.

Another thing, is if you are open to symbolism, what do you think Trents chainsaw represents? Notice how when shes visiting he seems kinda nervous,and wants to make sure she leaves and doesnt spend the night? And while he talks to her,he's pouring oil on his 'chainsaw',and rubbin-...err i mean wiping it with a cloth.

If you think there isnt anything quasi-pedophilic about this movie, youre blind.

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Dear rromanetti II,
This writer is 38 yrs. old and I own this film.Lawn Dogs deserves all the praise that it receives;the scenes you speak of are misrepresented in your views because the film presents a very wholesome relationship between Devon and Trent.
When she spends the night in his housetrailer,she sleeps at one end of the trailer while he sleeps way at the other end...and both are dressed.
As far as Devon referring to her "tits",twenty years ago(when I was in school and even when I was in gradeschool I heard that term comeup with girls referring to breasts as "tits" didn't just come about in this film or a short time before.
As far as pouring oil on a chainsaw,well a person can read whatever they want to in this film....however to call this film trash is to be so prudish that you deny yourself the beauty that this film has throughout it.It's not a child's movie,but it's not filth or trash.There's alot of symbolism in this film that has been misread by people opposing this film.The filthy relationships in this film are the affair that Devon's Mom(Kathleen Quilan) is having with a young man while she's supposed to be happily married!Also let's not forget how certain members of the gated community treat the poor Trent by harassing him and ultimately hunting him down(including the security guard who helps in hunting Trent down) and beating him mercilessly.
This is an Excellent film that film buffs should give a chance because it's message says to give everyone a chance in life ...and not just the rich.
To Better Days,
BRAD

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