Saturday, 7 February 2015

Review: Rubber

I can't believe I haven't seen…

Rubber Poster

Rubber (2010)
Cert: CERT / 82 mins / Dir. Quentin Dupieux / Trailer
WoB Rating: 6/7

You know it's going to be a comfortably confusing ride when the opening sequence of a film has a police lieutenant climb out of the boot (alright, trunk) of a car and explain to camera that the following film is "an homage to 'no reason'".*1 And in the case of a film like Quentin Dupieux's Rubber, 'no reason' is the best reason of all.

When you look at it on paper, of course, 'a car tyre gains sentience, develops an obsession with a human female and sets about an escalating series of apparently motiveless murders in the California scrublands' seems absurd. Luckily, precisely none of this absurdity is lost in translation to the screen as Dupieux figuratively takes a pack of happy-families to a poker tournament, and plays with a straight face.

Rubber is completely self-aware of its preposterousness, and equally unrepentant in revelling in it. A subplot around a sort of third-person framing device has an audience watching the action in the desert through binoculars (with what is referred to as 'the film', but elapses in real-time for them), further muddying the waters between the viewer and the narrative as the two threads interact from time to time.

I've made that all sound far too complicated, I know:
It's a film about a tyre that kills people.

Quietly remarkable, like Scanners re-imagined by Quentin Tarantino and Ross Noble, Rubber succeeds for the same 'no reason' that it exists.

Have you really never seen this before?
Nope, it was a little too niche for my local (despite being an English-language film and having lots of exploding heads), and it's thanks to my esteemed colleague at The Gadget Addicts that I was reminded of its existence.

So are you glad you've finally have?
I am, indeed.

And would you recommend it, now?
If you're in the mood for something different that doesn't always take itself too seriously, yes.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Rubber stars Tarantino stalwart James Parks, who had a role in Django Unchained, as did Mace Windu himself, Samuel L. Jackson.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Even if the examples he uses to illustrate his 'no-reason' theory fall apart if you actually think about them for more than a couple of seconds. The intention's there, that's what's important.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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