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To satisfy your curiosity: Devor does not dramatize the act itself. He shows the men in question trudging around fields, explaining in voice-over that humans are “conditioned to categorizing people,” whereas animals are attractive because they’re “just not going to do that.” (No horse is interviewed to offer an opposing viewpoint.) When you have sex with a horse, you are connecting with another living being on a simpler plane of existence. (No argument.) The issue of zoophilia makes for strange, um, stablefellows. Rush Limbaugh asks his dittoheads, “How can they know if the horse didn’t consent? ... If the horse didn’t consent, none of this would have happened.” The artiness—and the ambient drone—of Zoo becomes oppressive, but it’s still a ride like no other. I guess I couldn’t suppress the urge to make dumb jokes. Call me a neigh-sayer.

Although it has been playing for a few weeks, you must, must hurry off to the best movie in town, Alain Resnais’s Coeurs, known in this country as Private Fears in Public Places. It’s a Parisian romantic roundelay with sundry couples connecting and disconnecting, but it looks and sounds like no sex comedy ever made: It’s transcendentally yummy. Working with the playwright (and sometime farceur) Alan Ayckbourn, the 84-year-old director has pared his mise-en-scène (pardon my French) down to pure elegance. Set in a seemingly infinite (but gentle) snowstorm, the film is all creamy pastels, with characters framed by windows and doorways and pieces of décor—which has the paradoxical effect of bringing them closer to us, since there’s so much room to move within those spaces, since even at their most foolish these women and men are part of the same (psychological) color spectrum. It’s not reductionist; it is, for its two sublime hours, all we need of the world.

Jindabyne
Directed by Ray Lawrence. Sony Pictures Classics. R.

Zoo
Directed by Robinson Devor. Thinkfilm. NR.

Private Fears in Public Places
Directed by Alain Resnais. IFC Films. NR.

E-mail: filmcritic@newyorkmag.com.


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