Friday, September 2, 2011


"This  is nice:"

Comedian and film lover Doug Benson called it a "David Lynch fever-dream" which is not too far-off.  I'll add "…as if directed by Slacker/Dazed & Confused-era Richard Linklater."

Small-town surrealism, brilliant grunge cinematography, cool DIY inventions, great sound design/music, and naturalistic performances, esp. by the gals (who also showed the proper courtesy of baring their breasts, but cleverly only after the film's mid-point so the sexuality serves more as irritating memory then as titillation). What could have been a pretentious mumblecore nerd-bait cluster-fuck felt like genuine art. One of the best films of the year for me.

Loved it, but was admittedly confused by some events at the end which included flashbacks and some potential fantasy sequences going on in the mind of the protagonist. Hard to tell what was real or not, but didn't really change how much I was moved by the whole thing (probably enhanced by forcing me to dwell on it). Touched a raw nerve re. the brutal nature of bad break-ups, as I couldn't help but remember numerous times in my love-life where I was smitten by a girl who was so obviously wrong for me, but I just had to pursue to an inevitably disastrous conclusion. The main chick Milly was an amalgam of at least 3 different women I fell for throughout my life.

Director/writer/star Evan Glodell depicts how the broken-hearted mind can imagine horrible revenge scenarios to punish one's former lover. I'd put this in a double-bill with Blue Valentine, as at least half of Bellflower is a full-on romance, the rest capturing it's dissolution. Reminded me of people I knew in those unfocused rock and roll post-college days when I couldn't yet hold my liquor but could still hook up with a hot punk-rock chick at a party.  I also once suffered a concussion after a bicycle accident, and in my delirium found that I got laid by an ex (or two) who found my compromised physical state irresistible. So weird to me that Glodell was able to capture my own experience here on film, a decade and a half later.

But it's primarily a story about male friendship: one an introvert, the other an extrovert - two guys coming up with common goals, yet gradually outgrowing each other (like starting a band with a guy who eventually abandons you). Contains the classic trope of "best friend gets a girl, leaves his buddy behind." In a quiet moment late in the film, one says to the other, after congratulating him for bedding someone, "You know, I had a crush on her." Devastating. 

By the end of the film, having burnt all his bridges, the "hero" reflects on blissful moments with his former best friend: driving their hot-mod car, shooting flames, and firing shotguns in the wasteland, just the two of them, after the end of the world - but actually before the real-world shit went down. Not unlike Nolan's film Inception it left me wondering what was real and not. But most of it made sense to me on a visceral level, which is a true achievement for any film. Highly recommended. had both good reviews and a cool follow-up about the Medusa car itself:

Also some interviews with the film-maker which provide a bit more (or less) context:

No comments:

Post a Comment