Monday, May 30, 2011
The little tire that could...kill!
What if a tire came to life, struggled it's way out of the sand in the desert and wheeled it's way down the road with the intent of killing innocent bystanders by way of making their heads explode? RUBBER answers that strange question that no one ever asked. Here's the greatest film that could ever be made about a killer tire. Instead of being a simple exercise in absurdist horror filmmaking, RUBBER is more of an artistic cinematic put-on.
The opening scene sets the tone in an hilarious fashion. A police officer parks his car, gets out and walks towards the camera to address the audience. He tells us that this film is an "homage" to odd things occurring in movies that make no sense and have no explanation. "In the movie, E.T., why was the alien brown? No reason." he says. We then see a timid looking man hand out numerous binoculars to what appears to be some sort of test audience. They will be viewing the movie from within the movie, at a distance. They will also be forced to sleep on the ground when nothing of any significance seems to be happening. As this diverse group of people look toward the action, they make snide comments, observations and annoy the other people around them with their chatter. Much like a movie theatre audience does. The only thing missing are cell phones.
Meanwhile, the killer tire goes on a rampage at a nearby motel. It, or "He" as the people in the film refer to it, sets it's sights on a sexy French women staying in one of the rooms. Much like a peeping killer in a slasher film spies on a sexually attractive girl, this animated car part pursues female prey and even watches her undress and take a shower. "For the first time ever I identify with a tire!" says a flabbergasted member of the desert audience.
RUBBER is some kind of twisted, ingenious masterpiece that deconstructs conventional thriller storytelling as well as audience expectations and behaviour. Imagine if Jean Luc Godard directed REPO MAN. That's the distinction I made with this quirky little gem.
This film was written and directed by a French techno musician named Quentin Dupieux and shot on a shoestring budget. He does a great job of building up interest in a minimalist way. The sound effects and editing standout the best as we hear the tire roll through the rough terrain, crush or explode beer cans, birds, crabs and human heads. It even takes the time to shower and soak in the motel pool. "Do tires sink or float?" one audience member asks.
I guess that's the purpose of this audience within the movie. They ask the answer-less questions so you don't have to. Neat.