Home > the silver screen > i had a lesbian midwife who gave birth to my mother, while i was born through my mother’s womb

i had a lesbian midwife who gave birth to my mother, while i was born through my mother’s womb

In between bouts of feeling quite unwell and somehow managing to actually help my mother with some of her kuih-making chores, I managed to sit down and watch Harmony Korine’s 1997 film, Gummo, today.

It’s not really a “movie” in the commonly-accepted, mainstream sense; rather, it’s more of a collection of disturbing, unsettling and uneasy vignettes looking at the lives of the bizzare inhabitants of the town of Xenia, Ohio. And, if this movie is anything to go by, then I sure as hell do not want to be living there. The settings, most of which are messy, dirty and oh-so “white trash” don’t help one bit either, and they add even more to the already disturbing and unsettling quality of the movie.

I really liked the usage of home movie-esque shots (particularly in the introduction), which really add a lot to the whole unsettling, backwater, close-to-home feeling of some scenes (including one in which a group of white trash talk about cat torture and their dislike of “niggers.”). I also really liked the usage of repeated yellowish and blurred still shots of the two “main characters,” Solomon (played by Jacob Reynolds) and Tummler (played by Nick Sutton), primarily on an aesthetic level.

Speaking of “yellowish,” a review on Facebook said the film had “disgusting hues,” and, while, to me, that statement doesn’t make any sort of sense whatsoever (“disgusting hues?” what? the mind boggles), it does bring me to the fact that the lighting in this film (apparently provided by fluorescent lights instead of your average studio/movie lighting) is quite good and heightens the surreal feeling of the movie even more, giving it a pretty haunting, occasionally yellowish and also very home video-like feel, particularly the fact that it looks like it was shot in available indoor lighting, as most home videos (or, at least the ones I’ve recorded/seen) are. And that really enhances that “close-to-home,” almost realistic feeling I mentioned earlier.

Great music, too. There’s something about having raw-as-fuck black metal playing while your main characters are whipping the body of a dead cat that just . . . works. And using Roy Orbison’s “Crying” over the final sequences of the film (having been mentioned in the dialogue of the film earlier) was a great choice, seeing as how the song, to me at least, seemed to fit those aforementioned final scenes so wonderfully well.

No, this movie isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’d probably be more accurate to say that this movie is for a select few, namely for those open-minded souls who don’t need easily-followable plots (or, really, any sort of proper plot whatsoever) or some sort of moral being drilled into their thick, mindless little heads in order to be able to enjoy a movie. And it, of course, helps if one is not particularly easily offended.

Conclusion? Good, if you’re looking for something outside of the normal constructs most movies (and movie-goers) find themselves trapped in. I certainly enjoyed it: cat torture, “disgusting hues,” black metal and all.

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Categories: the silver screen
  1. Sep 11, 2008 at 23:59

    azzief,wht is the black object in this post’s 2nd photo?

  2. Sep 12, 2008 at 00:10

    that is the body of a dead cat.

    what else could it be?

  3. Sep 12, 2008 at 13:53

    hehe..i was thinking abt tht.huhu.

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