Gummo (1997)

gummo-bathtub-scene

Gummo is like channel surfing through weirdo America. This film has a perspective all of its own and it belongs, inherently, to Harmony Korine. Watching Gummo is like stepping into a universe or a strange stupor that could regress into a nightmare at any second. Still, it remains a fantastic and stimulating experience. Every shot, every scene, every character feels like a revelation and an oddity. Sound and image are utilised and broken down in fascinating ways. The soundtrack will leave you dizzy and punch-drunk. It’s a celebration of weird skinny white dudes and punky attitudes. So much to see. So much to take in. So much to say.

This has to be one of the most distinctive and daring debut films I’ve ever seen. It is an immersive delve into an artist’s worldview that is, in its simplest form “kinda funny lookin”. Gummo is undoubtedly mindless and has buckets of aimless anger, bursts of destruction and a constant sense of provocative mischief but there’s something so complete about its vision. Herzog famously lost his mind and fell in love with the film after seeing a piece of bacon cellotaped to the wall in the background of one scene. Well, the film is rammed with endless gonzo details like that and you too will find something to flip out over. Even if you see it and hate it (like many have) you won’t be able to forget it. You know that bit in Hellraiser when Pinhead says “we have such sights to show you”? I don’t doubt that Gummo is in his DVD collection.

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