Monday, October 3, 2011

A road less travelled: Rubber

A refreshingly quirky French film, Rubber explores exploitation and art with a self-referencing film about a killer telekinetic tire. Shot in a startling digital style that affects an intentional homage to the long-lens, short focus look of tilt-shifting, Rubber has a gorgeous palette of desert colors sharply captured.

Opening with a literal Greek chorus of spectators watching the film from within the film, both they and the viewer are introduced to a monologue describing the concept of "no reason". Things happen in films for "no reason" we are told, and this film pays homage to that. While the concept falls apart when they address why we can't see air, it does fulfil its non-sensical 4th wall breaking mission statement to the very last frame.

The tire itself begins with a slow awakening, becoming self-aware and clumsily mobile. Once free and able to roll, the tire explores the world with the spastic joy of a new calf, until it comes upon a plastic water bottle. Gingerly at first, it soon learns that the most immediate and powerful way it can affect the world around it is destructively. Stymied by its inability to similarly crush a beer bottle, frustration ripples through the tire and explodes outwards shattering the bottle. The tire continues its travels, randomly telekinetically exploding things until it finally turns towards killing people.

This is the point where things get weird.

Rubber fully embraces the conceipt of viewer awareness, incorporating common fails in theater-going ettiquette as well as the dangers of candy from strangers. It digs deep into horror/cop movie tropes, mocking and elevating simultaneously.

If you love film, and have a taste for the unusual, you will dig Rubber.

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