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Le Art Film

by Andrew Green

You want an art film? 

I got your art film right here.

Woodenhead (2003)


A landfill worker must escort a princess to her wedding through a dreamlike world of strange animals. The actor's lines are intentionally dubbed to make it all the more surreal.

Some interesting things have come out of New Zealand, and Woodenhead can now be added to the list. It's definitely one of the weirder movies I have seen. A guy who runs a garbage dump must escort a rich girl to meet her big-time land owner fiance in a distant land. Apparently, her father has commissioned others to do the same before, but all have failed for various reasons. "The most important rule," he warns our hero, "Don't touch my daughter!"

Of course, our hero breaks that rule, and spends the rest of the movie wandering the countryside pursued by various circus freaks. Woodenhead has all the hallmarks of a dreamlike art film; but I wonder if it REALLY means anything, or is just supposed to seem like it does. It's like The Seventh Seal, but not as good -- a surreal fairy tale sort of deal.

Is Woodenhead worth watching? Well, the picture does have its charming moments (I like it when the rich chick starts singing lullabies), and if you're interested in seeing something unusual for its own sake, then this is certainly a good choice. Woodenhead isn't too long, and at least after watching it, you can tell people that you've seen a weird cult art film from New Zealand. What? Do you have something BETTER to do?

3 out of 5.