This Filthy Earth (2001)

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This Filthy Earth (2001) Poster

The tragic story of two sisters whose lives are disrupted by two men. Amidst a landscape of rural hardship and a community consumed with superstition, events unfurl which threaten their sibling bond.


6.2/10
172

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26 April 2005 | Theo Robertson
2
| This Pretentious Pile Of Crap
It wasn't until after I saw the movie on Channel 4 tonight that I found out something relatively important and that is that the source novel by Emile Zola was set in 19th century France and not sometime 20th century Yorkshire . I say 20th century Yorkshire but I am very confused as to the time period because characters wear relatively modern clothes , have electricity and have access to tractors but often cut wheat with scythes . It's as if screenwriter Andrew Kotting has adapted the 19th century novel word for word in some scenes and then forgotten this when he's written his own scenes . This leads to an anachronistic feel through out the movie and while I was watching it I was expecting there to be a shock revelation at the end where it's revealed the story is set in the 24th century and there had been an Earth shattering catastrophe a couple of centuries before . This doesn't in fact happen and I felt cheated by this . I've no idea the nationality of Kotting but I doubt if he's from the North of England since he seems to be under the impression that Yorkshire is a vast wilderness . Even if the story is supposed to be set in the 19th century I doubt if the location would be as remote has made out on screen , rural Yorkshire is not like rural France . Obviously Kottering has adapted the story badly

But it's Kottering's directing style that makes THIS FILTHY EARTH a terrible experience . Within the opening couple of minutes we're treated to scenes speeded up , jump cuts , slow motion and sequences shot on 8 mm film . I suppose the director deserves some credit from audience members like myself who have never taken hallucinogenics but have wondered what a bad acid trip feels like and watching this movie now Iknow . But is there any context for doing this ? Maybe there might have been if the wheat grain the farmers had collected had been ergotised but this type of food poisoning would have been rare in the north of England ( But not perhaps 19th century France ) whatever period it's set in so it seems it was included by the director because it seemed like a good idea . It certainly makes for a memorable movie but not in a good way . I mean if a film ( That gets its TV premier at 2.30 in the morning ) starts with a close up on a bull's erection it's usually the sign of an unwatchable art house movie . We also have to endure a close up of a human erection slipping in and out of a human front bottom later on so you have been warned

As for the rest of Kottering's hand at the helm I wonder if he's a native English speaker ? It's just that I had a serious problem wondering what the characters were saying , not so much their dialect ( Though it is difficult to understand sometimes ) but the way the actors deliver their lines , they either mumble them or they scream them out very loud and very fast . Is this a conspiracy so that people will buy the DVD and watch the movie with subtitles turned on ? I wouldn't be surprised since it's the only way that you'll be able to follow the story . Despite this he's cast well and the actors involved do their utmost best to make their characters come across as hateful inbreed idiots . However it's important an audience can relate to characters in a movie and when you've got such despicable genetic mutations as the ones seen here it's difficult to connect with the story especially if you can't understand what's being said

So I've slagged off this movie and I have every right to . I can't believe that the average rating is 6.0 , but this comes from somewhere in the region of 36 voters and the credits of THE FILTHY EARTH contain more than 36 people - I think you know what I'm implying here . Let me just repeat that this bizarre movie won't appeal to anyone outside the hardcore die-hard art house brigade . It's a memorable movie for sure but for all the wrong reasons . I repeat you have been warned

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