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Gummo

Posted by martinteller on February 18, 2011

I was absolutely dreading this, for admittedly unfair reasons.  I’ve never seen any Korine outside of a trailer here and there (and if you want to count it, Kids), but I had a pre-conceived notion of him as a “bad boy” who makes shitty movies that gain attention by pushing buttons (kind of like Kids).  So I was completely ready to hate this movie with a passion.  It is to Korine’s credit that I not only didn’t hate it, but really liked it.  Yes, it indulges in a kind of nihilism I often find very boring and adolescent, and by conventional standards it’s “random” and “pointless”.  But what could easily be simply a condescending freak show is actually something almost tender.  Korine clearly has an affection for these characters that shines through even when they’re being horrible.  If the people of this universe are sometimes interesting for rather cheap reasons, at least they are interesting.  It’s kind of fascinating to watch it unfold, you never know what you’re going to see next… and it’s often something you’ve never seen before.  And for all the trashy behavior on display, it never feels exploitative or mindlessly shocking (even as a lifelong cat lover, the multiple images of and references to violence against felines weren’t that disturbing).  I also liked the tribute to The Shaggs (“Helen” and “Dot” own a cat named “Foot Foot”).  The worst scene, and maybe the only scene I didn’t like on some level, was the one starring Korine himself.  Like Tarantino, I think he’s better off behind the camera.  Rating: 8

IMDb
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