Assholes ★★★★½

Went in feeling extremely skeptical and came out a big time believer. This film is much closer to the Czech new wave than "mumblecore" - expounding on ideas of love and disgust with a visual language that cannot and will not be denied. Every shot has a distinct idea behind it, every plot point is either funny or disarming. Understanding that visualizing disease and sores in the context of romance and sex is still quite transgressive, gives the movie an edge over a lot of films that might mine similar territory (i.e. Buzzard). The performances were great, the obsession with poppers and general art design rocked, the sequence in Times Square is inspiring and the camerawork always had me smiling. The entire look was super graphic and in fact this is GRAPHIC filmmaking on many levels.

Caveat: if you can't handle gross-out imagery you won't be able to watch this.

That being said, rarely do I have the experience of watching a movie that is so jammed with experiments and larks that it feels like a satisfying 2 hours, only to find out it's 74 minutes long. The pace isn't really challenging or problematic, the whole thing is just overwhelming in a good way.

Movies that came to mind were In The Realm of the Senses, Daisies, Young and Healthy as a Rose, Age of Assassins, and Crazy Thunder Road.

Very refreshing and inspiring after seeing Paul Schrader's First Reformed at NYFF- which may have pretenses towards a radical vision but is actual just a more or less spiritual derivative of what it's striving for (Bergman, Bresson, Dreyer), whereas this guttural trash actually is radical art.