Friday, June 8, 2012

Some rambling thoughts on The Legend of Kaspar Hauser (2012) Open Roads 2012

This film needs to play at midnight. It's a whacked out strange film that mixes a techno score, comedy, science fiction, westerns and a few other things that shouldn't go together.

Vincent Gallo is an off the deep end long haired "sheriff" in a cowboy hat who has dance contests with the towns pusher (also Gallo).  Then one day while the sheriff is sitting by the sea Kaspar Hauser (we know his name because it's written on his chest) washes on shore. He's wearing sneakers, sweat pants  and head phones.  As the sheriff tries to teach Hauser how to DJ, the rest of the small community (duchess, priest, hooker...) try to come to terms with everything this new arrival hs kicked up...

Or not.

I'm not sure what I make of this film. Shot in a moody black and white, with a point and shoot style that reminds me of a Bela Tarr film melded with a Midnight Movie sensibility and more than a dash of silliness, this is a film that very much wants to be it's own beast. I'm not sure whether that means we're suppose to take it seriously or go off on it's oddness.

I honestly don't know what to make of it other than I want to compare it to Harmony Korine and early Jim Jarmusch,though both comparisons are ultimately wrong.

I think my feeling for the film is 'yes and?" meaning this is all well and good but after 90 minutes I'm supposed to get what out of this? Perhaps if I had been seeing this at midnight it might have played better. Actually I think what would have played better is that if the film had actually gone somewhere after the first 40 or 45 minutes.  Looking back at my notes i find I was greatly amused and engaged for about half the film, then it just kind of stopped going anywhere.

I should clarify things and say that while I am kind of down on the film, it comes from really liking the first half of the film and disappointment at it not being interesting all the way to the end. I do like the film, I just don't love it, nor do I really understand what the point it other than it being a cosmic goof.

Worth a shot for those who like the off beat, all others need not apply.

The films only screening at Open Roads is tomorrow night at 945.

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