Posted March 4, 2011 by Alex Moss Editor in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

Rubber


Possibly the most outrageous concept and execution of a film in living memory. The opening to Rubber is a theory in ‘No Reason’. What it boils down to is in cinema things happen and ‘are’ for no reason.

Possibly the most outrageous concept
and execution of a film in living memory.

The
opening to Rubber is a theory in ‘No Reason’. What it boils down to is in
cinema things happen and ‘are’ for no reason. Why is the alien in E.T. brown?
No Reason is the answer. We are told
that “All great films contain an element of no reason”, something that cannot
be explained and that, in theory, doesn’t need to be. Getting this out the
way makes it easier, although only slightly, to swallow the premise behind
Rubber.

Robert
is a tire, dumped somewhere in the desert he discovers he has life. Digging
himself out of the sand he roles around squashing bottles and bugs to great
satisfaction until he discovers he possess psychokinetic abilities and is able
to blow heads off with his mind. With his new power fully developed, via
exploding birds and bunnies, Robert sets out to find fresh meat. However,
Robert it being tracked by the law, in particular the director like Lieutenant
Chad (Spinella). Chad has assembled
a group of people in the desert, given them binoculars and pointed them in the
direction of Robert’s killing spree. The only way to stop Robert is to prevent
all the viewers, perhaps even us the audience, from watching.

It sounds convoluted and
surreal enough to be a Salvador Dali painting, and it is. Directed, with a
visual flair and wonderful eye for scenery, by musician Quentin Dupieux, also
known as Mr. Oizo, the film appears to be a loaded commentary about the
contrivances of cinema itself. In this sense it works well, pointing out the
ludicrous way we chose to sit in a room with strangers, tolerating their talk,
eating food that will kill us and generally discussing how the film could be
made better. In this regard Robert, the killer tire, is nothing more than a
device that could easily be substituted for any number of serial killers,
aliens, vampires, or zombies we all too readily accept the premise of.

Unfortunately
this concept does not stretch to a feature running time. Whereas a Charlie Kauffman (Being John Malkovich 1999 and Eternal
Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
2004) script could find all manner of subtext
and character drama in such a film, Dupieux is more interested in the absurdist
joke at its core that rapidly grows tiring. It is a pity as the look of the film is a sign that beneath the
pretence is a director with huge talent, given the right material.

Original and interesting for
half its running time but repetitive thereafter Rubber is a film that could
mark the beginnings of a genuinely visionary filmmaker.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com