Gummo

Gummo ★★★★★

"My father worked the late shift as a bathroom attendant. My father was mugged on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For the rest of his days on earth, my father never celebrated this holiday."

A message to those of you who cannot find anything to admire in Gummo, or who claim that it is trash without value: you may not be looking hard enough. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

If you can get through the opening credits of Gummo, and don't already despise the film to bits by that point, then it is likely you're in for a treat; however, Gummo is like biting into a apple and finding a worm inside. It's an ugly, ugly, beautiful film.

Ten things that I love about Korine's 1990s masterpiece...

1. It has a totally original and unique voice-over, unlike anything you'll hear in any other film. It's the kind of voice-over that you'd expect to hear in a film directed by Terrence Malick, if Terrence Malick had a psychological breakdown.

2. The diversity of the soundtrack is simply awesome, and pretty much covers every emotion in the entire human spectrum of emotions.

3. Gummo exposes the darkest, strangest, most obscure corners of humanity, but it's still more human than almost any other film out there.

4. Some of the scenes - or, if you're as odd as I am, most of the scenes - are absolutely hilarious in an ultra-weird sort of way.

5. Chloë Sevigny is a magnificent costume designer.

6. Constant sensory overload.

7. Everything in the film seems so real, so authentic... everything from the dialogue to the demeanor of the actors (though it probably helps that the majority of people Korine utilized in this film were non-actors).

8. If you're willing to think about what's going on in the film, you'll realize that it actually does touch upon some serious world issues such as drug addiction, sexual abuse, animal abuse, mental illness, racism, fascination with violence (in children), and so on.

9. Nothing else like this was happening in 1997; it may not be the best film of the year, but it sure as hell is the most eccentric.

10. Gummo is a pitch-black and hysterical, albeit exaggerated social commentary on a part of America that the masses neglect to notice.

Final verdict: top thirty of all-time.

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