Archive for April 24, 2011

The Easter Sunday Intertitles: ………..”Mind” out!

Posted in FILM with tags , on April 24, 2011 by dcairns

Suitably festive — well, bear in mind that Jesus is still dead for another day, so we can do what we like.*

From Dwain Esper’s singularly strange NARCOTIC, which has a kind of narrative and technical incompetence perfectly pitched to actually create a sensation of disorientation and derangement in the viewer. By turns grimily depressing, startlingly hilarious, and just plain hideous, this squalid little number may actually be a work of some kind of anti-genius.

Even working out what’s meant by the above title cards, which appear at the film’s end, isn’t easy — they refer to an earlier epigram about the difficulty of dealing with psychological as well as physical addiction, but by the time they recur they’re hopelessly garbled — and why the quotation marks?

Still, this is all only modestly crazy compared to Esper’s mise en scene and montage, which often has a hall-of-mirrors effect on the awe-struck viewer: characters seem to multiply promiscuously about the screen, through the miracle of line-crossing, random changes of angle, and skewed eyelines. I would suggest showing this to dopers just to convince them they can get demented without resorting to any chemicals stronger than celluloid.

*Fiona disputes my theology here, which admittedly derives from old Punch & Judy plays, but I think I’m correct in saying that Jesus claimed to be one with his father, therefore God is Dead for a couple of days every year, allowing a short interval of spiritual anarchy. Watch the news and tell me I’m wrong. Tomorrow things will be back to normal.