Plot & Details
A 20-minute, César-winning short film from Chilean expatriate director Raul Ruiz, Colloque de Chiens (in English, Dog's Dialogue) takes its title from a series of barking dogs who reappear throughout the film, one of several motifs used to add unexpected depth to a purposefully melodramatic narrative. The film begins by centering on Monique, a young woman who descends into the world of prostitution; when she falls in love and attempts to leave behind her past, she sets off a series of events leading to betrayal, tragedy, and murder. This story is told through a combination of voice-over narration and still photographs, occasionally punctuated by moving images, a style meant to recall and parody Latin American "photo-novels." This technique becomes a way to explore the ambiguous nature of images and language, as certain sentences and still pictures repeat several times, taking on widely varied meanings based on their surrounding context while simultaneously creating a sense of fate and eternal recurrence. Director Ruiz also uses this technique for humor, contrasting the deadpan narration and iconic imagery with the sensationalistic, exaggerated plot, reportedly inspired by phrases cut out of a story in a popular crime magazine.