In this elliptical ensemble piece, which marks the directorial debut of indie bad boy Harmony Korine, the teens of tornado-scarred Xenia, OH, kill cats, tape their boobies, arm-wrestle, bathe, cross-dress, huff glue, avoid perverts, pay to have sex with retarded girls, lift makeshift dumbbells to the strains of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” fight, cuss, shave their eyebrows, undergo cancer treatment, euthanize senior citizens, and pee on passing cars. A hallucinatory barrage of images and scenarios with little in the way of traditional plot, Gummo has been variously described as a surrealist joke, a visual poem, and a worm’s-eye view of white-trash suffering. The main characters include Solomon (Jacob Reynolds), who sells cat carcasses to a middleman who procures them for use at a local Chinese restaurant; his mother (Linda Manz), who teaches him to tap dance while reminiscing about her dead husband; Tummler (Nick Sutton), a mullet-haired local sex symbol; a midget (Bryant L. Crenshaw); a pair of boy-crazy, bleach-blond sisters named Dot (Chloe Sevigny) and Helen (Carisa Bara); a slut with a lump in her breast (Lara Tosh); a group of drunken louts; and Bunny Boy (Jacob Sewell), who wanders the town enigmatically in a pair of long pink ears. In between scenes of these characters enacting their bizarre routines, Korine intersperses impressionistic and quasi-documentary scenes with voice-over narration that ranges from incest memoirs to arty dialogue along the lines of “He’s got what it takes to be a legend: He’s got a marvelous persona.” Shot just outside Nashville, TN, Gummo includes costume designs by Korine’s then-girlfriend, Chloe Sevigny, who also plays Dot and who previously starred in the Korine-scipted, Larry Clark-directed Kids. Jacob Reynolds would go on to appear in Getting to Know You, though few of the director’s other discoveries have appeared on film since.___by Brian J. Dillard Continue reading
Before the art duo Pierre et Gilles, before fashion photographer David LaChapelle, before the artist Jeff Koons, and before the neo-Pop movement broke, there was director James Bidgood and his film PINK NARCISSUS. A cult classic, it is so considered more for its highly artistic production values than for its narrative.
The film is essentially a piece of gay erotica (more erotic than explicit) about an impossibly handsome young man (played by Bobby Kendall), obsessed with his own beauty and youth, who escapes the realities of street life through intricately choreographed fantasies in which he portrays a Roman slave, a matador, a wood nymph, and a harem boy. Characterized by searingly bright colors and highly stylized visual elements (sets, props, and costumes), Bidgood’s design for the film has been endlessly emulated by commercials and photographers to this day. PINK NARCISSUS is a “must see” for anyone interested in contemporary art, the pre-Stonewall sensibility, or the history of underground film.
Leonora, a prostitute, mourns the death by drowning years earlier of her daughter. She encounters a strange waif-like girl, Cenci, who bears a strong resemblance to her lost child. Cenci is herself struck by the great resemblance of Leonora to her own mother, whose death the mentally unstable Cenci has been unable to accept or even acknowledge. The two women quickly develop a symbiotic relationship, moving in and out of the illusion that each is the lost loved one of the other. The complicating factor is the arrival of Albert, Cenci’s stepfather, whose incestuous attachment to her may well be the cause of her mind’s unbalance. With Albert’s arrival, no one in the strange trio is safe. Continue reading
An obscure gem, a hidden treasure to international cinema lovers; “Sevmek Zamani” is one of the best movies in Turkish cinema history. This cult film still remains as a cinematic enigma for the new generation in Turkey. Praised for its B&W cinematograhpy and regarded as a masterpiece, film follows the aesthetic tradition of Antoninoni. Also resembles some of Bela Tarr’s works with its visual sensibility; “Sevmek Zamani” is an eclectic mixture of modernist themes (i.e. individual loneliness), metaphysics (the fight of good vs evil), and notions of Marxism like director’s some other works. Metin Erksan is one of the first Turkish filmmakers who saw cinema as an art form apart from a mass entertaining medium.
Fascinated by forbidden rituals and ceremonies, world explorer Arthur Davis takes a crew with hidden cameras to Africa and South America to secretly record the beauty and horror of the “law of the jungle”. BRUTES AND SAVAGES is the filmed document of his death-defying adventures. Shocking, brutal and repulsive, this film mixes bizarre authentic footage with incredibly exploitive (and often hilarious) “re-enactments” of his findings. Animal sacrifices, bizarre tribal ceremonies, mating rituals and even brain surgery. Continue reading
- “What would you do if you had only ten days to live”?
- “Just get very stoned.”
DANDY (1988 )- a Voltaire-inspired anti-fairytale by Peter Sempel – Featuring Blixa Bargeld, Nick Cave, Kazuo Ohno & Nina Hagen.