John has lost all his money. He sits outside a diner in the desert when Sydney happens along, buys him coffee, then takes him to Reno and shows him how to get a free room without losing ... See full summary »
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Baker Hall,
John C. Reilly,
A twisted take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker traveling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer/pedophile.
A camera crew follows a serial killer/thief around as he exercises his craft. He expounds on art, music, nature, society, and life as he offs mailmen, pensioners, and random people. Slowly he begins involving the camera crew in his activities, and they begin wondering if what they're doing is such a good idea, particularly when the killer kills a rival and the rival's brother sends a threatening letter. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie is a piece of art: shocking and disturbing, while at the same time funny as hell in a raw "should-I-be-laughing-or-should-I-be-ashamed" kind of way.
It gives an insight in the very realistically portrayed life of Ben, a serial killer with an impressionable charisma.
Most people who commented on this film either love it or hate it. The division seems mostly geographical though: most Americans can't seem to understand the tongue-in- cheekness of this movie.
Probably it has to do with the fake-documentary nature of the movie, which is clearly western-european. Anyone who has ever seen American documentaries knows they have a different pace and way of treating images. Those who are used to belgian/french/ dutch/german documentaries will recognise the style of the so-called "intimate" documentaries.
The pivotal point is the moment a relationship develops "beyond" the documentary relationship of the filmmakers and their subject (they take Ben's money to finish the movie).
When watching this movie, try to imagine that this *could* be a real movie:
documentaries about terrorists, drugdealers, and even mercenaries (the closest thing to an actual serial killer) have been made, and some of them were very close to their subject.
It is *not* a "black comedy" in the classical sense of the word; more like a "Clockwork Orange" for the nineties. Where "A Clockwork Orange" bathed in the design of the seventies, this movie bathes in the "larger-than-life" invasiveness of modern-day reality-tv-style television. Anyone who has seen shows like "cops" or "Big Brother" will know what I'm talking about. It asks the big documentary question: in how far does the observed change the observer? It makes a statement, not about violence, but about the observer of violence. The way it is portrayed shows the art of the (very low-budget) crew: it grips your guts without fancy effects or gory protrayal of gore: it shows fear, despair and psychological emptyness, by showing emotions! This should be recommended viewing (and debating) to anyone making documentary films.
73 of 85 people found this review helpful.
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