Why There Is Value and Not Excess in the Extreme Misery of Ulrich Seidl’s ‘Dog Days’

Ulrich Seidl sees a particular problem. As much as any absurdly brilliant artist can, he examines human experience from the undesirable end of the axis. Seidl's films infiltrate communities or small groups in which cruelty and pettiness is rampant and love is redundant. This is not a love of naivety or insincerity, but of empathy. Some artists choose to focus on the love that can be found in our world, others on the experiential variety of people’s lives. Then there are those who see only a deficit of love and happiness, enough at least to spend a career convincing others that it is so. Sticking the word porn after another word is an easy way of indicating that you have sussed a particular cultural product’s purpose. Dog Days (2001
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