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Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees (1991)



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Credited cast:
Father Bessarion ...
David Blair ...
Jacob Maker
James 'Hive' Maker
Florence Ormezzano ...
Allellee Zillah
Meg Savlov ...
Melissa Maker
Clyde Tombaugh ...
Himself (as Dr. Clyde Tombaugh)


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Release Date:

21 October 1991 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Wax oder Die Entdeckung des Fernsehens unter den Bienen  »

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User Reviews

A Very Strange Film
19 January 2001 | by (Columbus, OH) – See all my reviews

This is a very strange movie. I'm not even sure that I can accurately describe the plot, because it doesn't make any sense and I don't know if it's really a plot anyway. But I'll give it a shot. I rented this based on the quotes on the box, which described it as being like Total Recall, only with 10 times the weirdness. After seeing the movie, I don't know what they were talking about... The whole movie is narrated by David Blair in a very monotone voice, and has no similarities to Total Recall that I see...

The movie starts out with James Maker, who is a member of something called the Supernormal Film Society whos goal is to film the spirits of the dead walking among the living. There's some background on this which seems largely irrelevant. Then we meet his grandson, Jacob Maker who is the main character of this story. Jacob is a programmer who works on aircraft simulation programs. He's also a beekeeper of Mesopotamian bees he inherited from his grandfather.

So, after a bit the bees drill a hole in his head and put in a television, which the bees use to start showing him things. About this time, a statue of Kane outside his house kills the statue of Able, and Kane is marked with the X symbol. Then at work, Jacob wonders why his co-workers never wonder what happens to the missiles they launch that don't come back (never mind that a programmer probably doesn't deal with missile launches), and he realizes that they turn into flying saucers which fly to the moon where the dead live.

About this time, the bees start showing him things on the television and he makes a big pilgrimage to the Garden of Eden Cave which the bees tell him is the entrance to the world of the dead. Jacob then realizes that the bees are actually the dead of the future, and goes to the cave. Although it is a 40 miles walk through the desert, he makes the journey a bit easier by becoming a bomb part of the way. He then learns that he has to kill someone to fulfill his destiny, which is to be reborn in a wax body that the bees make in the cave.

When arriving at the cave, Jacob learns that the cave is actually the entrance to a planet inside of our planet where the bees live. There, he dies and goes to join the world of the dead. For a while, he becomes the X symbol. Then he becomes a poem in the language of Kane. Then he travels to some other planets, including the Planet of Television. Next he becomes a rival beekeeper of his grandfather. Then he decides it's time to fulfill his destiny, which is to kill someone. So, he becomes a bomb and blows up two Iraqi soldiers in a tank. Then he becomes the X symbol with himself, his grandfather's arch enemy, and the two soldiers he blew up.

And that's pretty much it... Make sense? No, I didn't think so... David Blair calls this Independent Electronic Cinema. I don't know what to call it. I can't figure out if this movie is bad because the weirdness of it all is hard to get over. And the filming is worse... One could today make this movie on a home PC fairly easy. There are 3 distinct types of footage in the movie. First, there is a lot of stock footage of bees, bombs, and other scenes. Second, there is footage that was shot with an amateur camera I'm guessing. Third, there were digital renderings. Nothing fancy, these were things like 3D letters and symbols, and renderings of the cave ceiling and floor just on the screen with a black background.

And it's heavily edited. I hesitate to refer to this as special effects, as I think it's overly abused. There is not a point where more than 1 minute goes by without further senseless video effects. Things like the image warping, folding, unraveling into a string, blurring, etc. Basically all the stuff you could do to a movie with a piece of $100 modern software and a video capture card. And it took six years to make. Personally, I don't see what makes this a great art film, as I've seen some reviews and essays claim it is. I think it falls into the trap of being so different and bizarre that people figure it must be artistic. I don't know what the hell it is, and I don't think I ever will. I keep thinking that there must be some meaning in this movie, but I haven't the slightest idea what...

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