(2017) Kuso

From the dude who did Salad Fingers back in the day. I’m not even sure what I expected but the entire film is a useless cringe-fest. Definitely one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen and not even in an entertaining way.

0/10

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(2012) Cosmopolis

I’ll be honest, I gave this film a shot when it came out, before I had gotten a chance to even get into Cronenberg and I’m pretty sure I shut it off after 10 minutes. I was just too young for it and I feel like now with my age and perception (or cemented lack of perception) of the world, it really speaks to me.

I can definitely see the genius in the message or messages Cronenberg is trying to send and I really feel a general sense of disconnect, which I believe was his intention. If there’s any horror to be found in this film, it’s in this sickening feeling of disconnect. It’s a disconnect in our economy and social class but an even more serious disconnect on a person to person level.

The current state of the US really proves this and for all the people saying the world is fucked right now, well, it kind of is. You can look to the past and see a lot of protesting , pleading for the universe to balance itself out but in this decade, we’re injecting technology into this dynamic. That’s something Cronenberg really loves to focus on and he even romanticizes it in Cosmopolis, describing the glow of screens to be alluring.

I read the other day about interesting phenomenons or whatever and one really caught my attention, mostly because it initially seemed out of place. It was about the idea that it’s almost impossible to take in and appreciate the amount of work that goes into creating everything we see and touch on a day-to-day basis. You can have all the information and data available but that almost makes you even more disconnected from it.

The film is almost entirely shot within the confines of a limousine which has to be intentionally claustrophobic. The dialogue is strangely paced and minimally cut, giving a theater like experience. I’ll be honest, people absolutely do not speak in real like as they do in this film and if it weren’t for Cronenberg’s established place in film, I might not view it as intentional.

The story itself is minimal and confusing, this seems to be the breaking point for most people but I really loved the ambiguous nature of it all. Characters are highly metaphorical and their chosen words are done so with excessive care.

It’s a destined divisive film all around but I found it to be fantastic. With technology and social media, there’s an argument to be said that even the people who go out of their way to manifest protest, don’t actually give a shit about anyone but themselves. If these existential themes seem pretentious, I can’t say this film will really be for you. However, if you’re able to get lost easily in an extreme slow burn, you might just find this to be as unsettling and rewarding as I did.

8/10

(2016) We Are the Flesh

This really hit for me and stretched my own personal boundaries of what I believed a filmmaker can acceptably do when trying to convey something so important. I wish I could give you some background on either the director or actors but I have nothing.

The acting, across the board, is just exceptional. The main villain, if you’d like to call him that, is like fucking instantly iconic. His performance and even just facial, you know, fucking expressions and shit- my god man, so good.

The set itself is mesmerizing. It opens, shot in this gritty, post apocalyptic setting and just transforms into the literal womb of hell. Even sonically, just the details and short, timed silences; it’s a work of art.

That’s all I have for you boys, I’m still kind of reeling from this one.

8.5/10

(1990) Der Todeskin: The Death King

While often wavering between the blunt, literal message and depressive expressionism, Der Todesking manages to feel all too real. It’s one of the best arthouse style horror films I’ve seen to date.

Jörg Buttgereit is definitely a director that doesn’t hold back visually. If you’ve seen his more well known film Nekromantik, you can expect some of that visual style in this film as well. It definitely feels more in place in the confines of this films topics.

Dealing with depression and death are almost always messages that will be received more intensely by those directly affected by it. I’ve personally dealt with anxiety and depression all my life and the overarching theme of just rotting hits close to home. It’s definitely comforting to feel that connection to, well, people in general who understand but also specifically filmmakers who are opening up these outlets for us. Seeing a film like this definitely doesn’t make life worse for me, I’m happy to really kind of remind myself that our individual conditions are really just shitty human conditions that anyone could wind up with. 

The soundtrack is also wonderful. It’s simple but beautiful. I’m really blown away that the same filmmaker who did Nekromantik, did this. I felt like that one was really over exploitive and ultra-graphic for shock purposes. I’m happy he was able to reel it in and find something meaningful to build around.

9/10

(2005) The Call of Cthulhu

I wanted to hate this because just the idea of a silent film being made in 2005 seems ridiculous. I enjoy silent films like Vampyr and Nosferatu genuinely but also out of an appreciation for the level of creativity established within the confines of the time periods technological limitations.

With The Call of Cthulhu, I actually kept forgetting that I was watching a modern silent film. It’s a true homage to that era. The visuals were great, loved the dated animation and set pieces. The acting was on point, you know, over the top expressionism and such.

It’s a simple and brief journey back in time. With that being said, if no one could make another silent film, that would be great.

7/10

(2015) Darling

I’m really starting to enjoy Lauren Ashley Carter, her acting is wonderfully restrained. Unfortunately this film, albeit quite good, felt too much like a Polanski imitation rather than a respectable nod to his style.

The first time you see some of Polanski’s techniques, especially with his innovative sound design, it’s invigorating. The second time you see them, especially from someone other than the man himself, it feels kind of stale.

I can’t praise this movie for its innovation. It really felt like an incredibly well done film school project. Watch Polanski’s Repulsion back to back with this and you’ll get what I’m talking about.

5/10

(2010) Beyond the Black Rainbow

Beyond the Black Rainbow is the most heartbreaking movie not to enjoy because it’s truly stunning visually. Unfortunately the plot is completely nonsensical and dizzyingly confusing.

I recommend checking this one out but maybe mute the volume, smoke as much dope as possible and listen to some doom metal.

4/10