Gummo ★★★★½

There's the kind of appalling that makes you want to look away and the kind that prevents you from doing so. This is the latter. A concentration of the injustices present and outcasts of modern society shoved into a microcosm, where we see a collection of excerpts with a seemingly arbitrary logic to them, that not entirely coincidentally make astute observations and relentlessly forces the viewer to contemplate the nature of what's being depicted. It's everything that society is trying to avoid acknowledging and would rather forget about, put into a hyper-potent film. Korine builds his own aesthetic by mixing shot-at-home footage with his carefully stylized scenes and it contributes to making this pleasantly unpleasant to look at. The exaggerations and indulgences into the underprivileged makes this seem like something from a parallel universe, but the stylistic choices constantly reminds us that this is based entirely in reality. The music underlines this film's purposeful rebellion against conformism, but also nods to it's importance when it comes to developing a persona, even at the proverbial bottom of the barrel. Personally, it also reminds me that Burzum, although his music is only briefly included in one scene, made some of the best music of the 20th century, which was incredibly versatile, despite it's lo-fi production. His music could've easily been utilized to complement a Bela Tarr film.

This is a incredibly thorough and well executed film, that not only achieves originality, but uses even that as a statement. It is almost consistently repulsive, which only makes it all the more important to see it. Of course it is a film you have you see before you die, that isn't included in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

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