L’il Quinquin is filled with shouldn’ts: we shouldn’t laugh at a severed head dumped on the side of a motorway, but we do.
The thing about MUBI, is it throws up little gems you’ve never heard of, but find yourself falling in love with, wildly. 2014’s L’il Quinquin is one such treat that’s burrowed its way into my heart, and I’ll probably never forget it. Where Midsomer Murders meets This is England – except this is rural France – Bruno Dumont’s four-part whodunit is a visually stunning piece of cinema. Despite this, and despite its gruesome plot, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In fact, its silliness is its strength.
Uncovering a killing spree in which a string of locals are found chopped up and fed to farm animals, a hapless pair of cops are woefully off the mark when it comes to their crime solving skills. Meanwhile the menacing Quinquin and his gang, watch on.
L’il Quinquin is filled with shouldn’ts: we shouldn’t laugh at a severed head dumped on the side of a motorway, but we do. We shouldn’t find so much comedy in a crap Ford Focus, but it literally makes us LOL every time we see it. Bruno Dumont shouldn’t keep the camera rolling when the scene has clearly ended, making us – and his actors – painfully uncomfortable, but cruelly, he does. And Bernard Pruvost, who plays Commandant Van der Weyden, with his strange, uncontrollable facial tics, probably shouldn’t be an actor, but he is. Unsurprisingly, L’il Quinquin is his only IMDB credit, but he’s more watchable than Tom Cruise.
The thing about MUBI is it’s fleeting. If you haven’t seen L’il Quinquin, you’re out of luck. Part One has already dropped off the menu, with the other three soon to disappear, too. But track it down, somehow, you must.