You'll need to take more than a few deep breaths before enduring Damien Odoul's 77-minute meditation on the rites of manhood. Compared by some to France's fellow enfant terrible Bruno Dumont (L'Humanité), Odoul's heavy-handed men's movement preoccupations with animals and fatherhood just can't measure up. Dumont's ability to find poetry in arid topography and lost soul performances may be pretentious, but it's also fraught with an almost cosmic sense of dread. It's difficult to tear your eyes away from the tense inaction of L'Humanité, whereas Deep Breath (like its main character) would rather stay asleep in bed when there's work to be done.
Deep Breath follows a single day in the drib-drab life of David (Pierre-Louis Bonnetblanc), an aimless teenager spending a few weeks with his slovenly uncle on a ramshackle, isolated farm. This kid is trouble. He's content to fritter away the hours pegging donkeys with stones or smashing inanimate objects such as furniture and trees, for starters. His only solace is distracting himself by blasting his walkman, but that only fuels his aggressive fire with songs about capping people, or more often beautiful women grabbing his cock. He's still a virgin, so this stuff is tantamount to his education. The uncle assigns chores, but never really follows through on making sure David finishes them. He knows full well this kid is a slacker who will inevitably screw things up, growing up to be just another deadbeat with no prospects for his future.
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