Gummo

Gummo

I was intrigued by some of the methods taken here: combining footage from various sources, shifting visual styles between what seems like found footage to more capable cinematography, and so on. It's the visual equivalent of what takes place on screen, a grimy, destructive, bored view of small town life. This is Korine's vision of small town America, and having grown up in small town America, I can attest that it isn't exactly inaccurate. It's just all of the worst parts of small towns condensed into this one movie, and none of the good parts.

I have to admit, I was ready to just dismiss this one until I found information on the cats. I had to know they didn't actually hurt those cats. I accept Bela Tarr at his word about Satantango, and I accept Wikipedia at theirs for the time being.

One shot I found particularly interesting comes in the wake of the, uh, murder. I won't say more than that to avoid spoilers, but the scene ends with a shot of evidence left behind by the perpetrators, which makes it seem like Korine is suggesting that even this horrific action is just another moment of self-destruction. If they leave such obvious evidence, they're likely to be caught. Their fingerprints are also all over the place. Every other scene has been a moment of stupid, brutal self-loathing played out in gas huffing, soul scarring occupation, or strange violence. This crucial point of outward damage ends with a distinct suggestion that it's more inward than it seems.

Perhaps that's the overall theme here. This is a town that was damaged by nature, and its denizens are dying along with it, trying to hurry it on its way.

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