Monday, December 13, 2010

Slipstream (2007)

This week I'm giving you a half dozen of some of the best films I've seen realitively recently. On scale of 10 every one is either a 9 or 10. These are films that kick ass and take names. I can't recommend any of them highly enough. One reservation; some are trippy or violent or disturbing, so read about the films before you attempt to see them because you may go somewhere you don't want to.

First up: Slipstream

Anthony Hopkins writes, directs, scores and stars in a movie that is like the bastard child of David Lynch and Peter Greenaway. It's a film that operates on a visceral level and is akin to being trapped in someone's head (which is the point).

Nominally it's the tale of a screenwriter who is having the real and fantasy worlds of film and his head merge. Beyond that I can say no more; partly because the more adventurous of you may want to try this, and partly because I couldn't explain it if I wanted to. As Hopkins says in the commentary on the DVD about portions of it, "I can't explain it either". Characters come and go, everything refers to everything else, everyone has multiple parts, and the film doesn't end until it stops on the very last post credit frame.

This is food for thought and then some.

It means something and it means nothing. From the opening seconds you are bombarded with sounds and images that overlap. There are quick cuts, long takes, things change from shot to shot...and in some ways it's like a punch in the face.

It's a shot of some hallucinogen in the mind of someone else that's forced upon you to further mess you up. It's a mediation on the notion of reality and a puzzle.

It's a true masterpiece of cinema and the most pretentious piece of dog poo.

I am in awe of it. I have no idea who would want to watch it, but I am in awe of it.

It is one of the most personal films I've ever seen. Watching it with the commentary helps to a certain degree, and in other ways it confuses things.

What the hell is this and how the hell did it get made?

One of a kind.

I'm not even sure it goes where Hopkins thinks it goes. Yes the trajectory is kind of foreseeable but at the same time...what the hell is this?

I feel like I've been messed with in a physical manner, like a truck has hit me.

Few films have ever affected me like this.

Is it a good film? I have no idea. Should you see it? I have no idea. Will I see it again? Hell yeah.

This is an experience.

Beyond that you're on your own.

Rating of 9 out of 10 is for the technical wizardry of the film and because it does what few films do nowadays, and that is provoke a reaction of some kind in the viewer. The film forces you to react in some way, either with confusion, laughter, or to turn it off. It's not an indication of what I or you may think of it on any other level.

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