Gummo ★★★

Harmony Korine's debut feature is one of the most incredibly bizarre, yet oddly mesmerizing movies I've ever seen. There is hardly any coherence in the plot, but damn... the imagery... is so... hypnotic! I became aware of the fact that I had my mouth agape several times while watching the film, and at every moment where I was conscious of this, I asked myself: ''Am I enjoying this?'' (nope), ''Am I hating this?'' (nope). I was simply flabbergasted. As such, I can totally understand the polarizing reaction it has gotten, so while I won't recommend the movie, I won't discourage anyone from seeing it. Just some notes that may interest you:

- Director Bernardo Bertolucci declared the film and its creator capable of "creating a revolution in the language of cinema."

- Korine would later receive love letters from Jean-Luc Godard after he saw the film.

- The actor Johnny Depp, also a fan, described Gummo as "one of the most truthful pieces of filmmaking in a long time."

- Werner Herzog praised the film and spoke of being especially moved by the bacon taped to the wall during the bathtub scene.

- Director Lukas Moodysson listed it as one of his top ten films for the 2002 Sight and Sound Poll.

- Filmmaker Gus Van Sant on Gummo writes, "Venomous in story; genius in character; victorious in structure; teasingly gentle in epilogue; slapstick in theme; rebellious in nature; honest at heart; inspirational in its creation and with contempt at the tip of its tongue, [Gummo] is a portrait of small-town Middle American life that is both bracingly realistic and hauntingly dreamlike."

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