LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is a dark expose of twenty-something alienation, adapted from Brad Fraser's stage play "Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love. Denys Arcand's film effectively evokes its characters' feelings of rootlessness and restlessness, but is ultimately
unfulfilling as a sociological portrait of modern urban life in crisis.
LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS revolves around a circle of seven friends, one of whom is discovered to be a vicious serial killer. David (Thomas Gibson) is a handsome gay waiter and childhood TV sitcom star, who lives with his ex-girlfriend, Candy (Ruth Marshall). David is looking for love but terrified
of commitment. He and his good-looking, womanizing friend Bernie (Cameron Bancroft) commiserate about their feelings of aimlessness and frustration. After years of unsatisfying sexual encounters at gay bars, David begins a strange liaison with Kane (Matthew Ferguson), a curious and confused 17
year old busboy at the restaurant where David waits tables. Benita (Mia Kirshner), a professional dominatrix with psychic capabilities, provides David with insights about his relationships with Kane and Bernie. Candy, whose feelings for David are not yet fully resolved, is juggling two new
relationships--with a clingy lesbian schoolteacher, Jerri (Joanne Vannicola), and a secretive bartender, Robert (Rick Roberts). Swirling around all these characters is a string of brutal killings of women, the victims' earrings ripped out of their ears and taken as mementos. Clues point to several
different killers before the real murderer is revealed.
LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is the first English-language film from Canadian director Arcand whose earlier films, DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE and JESUS OF MONTREAL, were both nominated for best foreign-language Oscars. LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is tough. It's a grim and disturbing portrayal of a
socially estranged generation trying to find meaning in life. Sex has become confused and confusing--a space to play out fears and fantasies about identity, love, power, intimacy, pleasure, pain, and death. The characters wander through their lives in unrelentingly harsh urban landscapes with
punishing industrial lighting--bereft of nature and natural light--feeling that they're nothing like anyone else in the world. All of this would be fine, were it not for the shockingly sunny ending which casts a strangely empty shadow over the rest of the film. (Sexual situations, nudity,violence, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is a dark expose of twenty-something alienation, adapted from Brad Fraser's stage play "Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love. Denys Arcand's film effectively evokes its characters' feelings of rootlessness and restl… (more)