Saturday, November 18, 2023

Joe Badon's WHEEL OF HEAVEN (2023)

After the fragmentary BLOOD OF DINOSAURS Joe Badon returns with the full in WHEEL OF HEAVEN, an effort to make a film like KENTUCKY FRIED MOVE, TUNNELVISION or the GROOVE TUBE but more Meta and more out there.

When Joe sent me BLOOD OF DINOSAURS in 2022 I was at first delighted, as I am when ever he sends me one of his films. I then got kind of annoyed. I didn't think BLOOD wasreally a finished film, it was just a piece that just ended. I wrote up my review and  I told Joe my thoughts. He said he understood, and that it was the first part of a longer film (This one) but that he thought the segment worked on its own. 

Having seen the complete WHEEL OF HEAVEN, I was right, BLOOD OF DINOSAURS doesn't work as well out of context. In context it's a hell of an introduction to a huge joyous WTF film.

One part KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, one part meta examination of filmmaking, one part grand game on the audience, WHEEL OF HEAVEN is magnificently its own film. It's a one of a kind film that is like the point where his previous films SISTER TEMPEST and THE GOD INSIDE MY EAR turn, but for 100 minutes. This is a film that drifts in and out of various realities, that of the film's parts, the filmmaking, the discussion of the film while on the festival circuit, that of the viewer with a TV remote. It's all these levels operating separately and together. It's a film that transcends genre (and sanity).

It's all over the place and yet if you give yourself over to it, it somehow works. Some how when you get to the end  you know you've seen something. And if you didn't walk out before the ending odds are you're going to want to go again, right then, I know I wanted to, I wanted to see how it all tied together.

You'll notice I haven't been forth coming in what happens in the film, and that is for one big reason- I have no clue. We have all these clips and fragments and voice overs that have been sewed together in a Frankenstein style. What I see it as,is not what you are going to see it as. You're experiences are going to color what this creature is. I'm also still pondering what it all is.

I suspect some of you may call it crap because it doesn't remotely fit what a most people see as a film, but the truth is it's something so much more. Its the result of a fearless filmmaker trying to push the boundaries of what cinema is and succeeding. If you see it and don't like it, come back in five years and I think you'll find it will make more sense because Badon's film will have influenced a generation of filmmakers.

No, this is not for everyone, Badon knows that and references it repeatedly,  but for those who want off Hollywood, for those who want something that is going to challenge you (which I suspect you are since you are reading Unseen Films),  to psh your notions of what a film can do, this film is for you


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