Man Bites Dog and Reservoir Dogs Win Top Toronto Festival Awards

The one film that created the greatest buzz this year was Quentin Tarantino’s stunning debut, “Reservoir Dogs” (Miramax release), which won the prestigious international critics award for best first film. The jury praised Tarantino for “a spectacular debut that combines a brilliant narrative sense, and expressive use of space, and an insightful direction of actors.”

“Reservoir Dogs” is the fascinating story of a group of men, unknown to each other, brought together to assist a criminal mastermind in a jewelry heist. The tale explores in an unprecedented way the male psyche (macho identity, trust and betrayal, camaraderie) and criminal mind. A deft, all male-cast, headed by Harvey Keitel and Tim Roth assist an original script and flawless staging. Watch out for the bright star of writer-director Tarantino.

Thanking the jury for the award, Tarantino said, “If I was on the jury I would have given the prize to ‘Man Bites Dog.'” Well, the film critics seemed to agree with the filmmaker. Belgian director Remy Belvaux’s Man Bites Dog won the Metro Media Award, a prize voted by the entire accredited press contingent.

In “Man Bites Dog” (“C’est Arrive Pres de Chez Vous”), a match made in heaven is struck between Ben, a serial killer, and a team of directors looking for a suitable subject for their new documentary.

Ben is not shy about sharing his professional secrets and philosophical insights; nor is he reticent about showing the “meat” of his work.

The filmmakers follow Ben from body-dumping sessions to a choreographed strangulation, from scaring a grandmother to a Mason-like rape and murder. Shrewd, “deviant,” and funny, “Man Bites Dog” is a satirical stab at our new cultural icons. You begin to understand why there are so many films, TV programs, and books, and about serial killers.