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  • Rubber | Review

    AFI Fest 2010

    By | November 20, 2010

    Director: Quentin Dupleux

    Writer(s): Quentin Dupleux

    Starring: Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Wings Hauser, Roxane Mesquida, Ethan Cohn

    Um…wow! Really, I have no idea where to even start with Quentin Dupieux‘s (aka Mr. Oizo, the artist and music producer) feature length film about a killer tire (“Roger”), simply titled Rubber. (Why? No reason.)

    I guess I might as well start at the very beginning. (Why? No reason.) Rubber opens with a man (Jack Plotnick) on a desert road holding several pairs of binoculars at his side. (Why? No reason.) Wooden chairs are scattered in front of him along the desert road. (Why? No reason.) A car drives down the desert road, running into every single chair on the road. (Why? No reason.) A police officer (James Parks) gets out of the trunk of the car. (Why? No Reason.) The police officer faces the camera and commences the following monologue: “In Stephen Spielberg’s E.T., why is the alien brown? No reason. In Love Story, why does the man and woman fall in love? No reason. In JFK, why is the president assassinated by a complete stranger? No reason. I could go on.” I bet he could go on…and on…and on…

    It turns out that the binoculars are for a small group of tourists who are here to watch…well…who knows what? (Why? No reason.) They are us, we are them, we are altogether…or something like that. What are we here to watch? The subject of their gaze becomes a tire. This group of voyeurs watch what we watch. (The layers make my head hurt!) Said tire comes alive. (Why? No reason.) Said tire learns to move on its own. (Why? No reason.) Bloody fucking mayhem ensues. (Why? No reason.) Man, does bloody fucking mayhem ensue. Wow!

    Do not get me wrong. (Why? No Reason.) Rubber is much more than an absurd slasher film starring Roger as the killer tire. Much more. Really. Rubber is actually an expert treatise on self-reflexivity in cinema. (Why? No reason.) Yes, Rubber gets meta. Really fucking meta. I am not bullshitting you. I know, I know…how can a film about a killer tire be an expert treatise on anything? Well, other than on killer tires…and God knows we need more expert treatises on killer tires! That is just what this world needs, another treatise on killer tires! (Why? No reason.) But, really, just count how many times (and how many ways) we are made aware that we are watching a movie. (Why? No reason.) Rubber is all about the cinematic gaze and the spectacle of viewing. (Why? No reason.) Nothing more, nothing less. And it is bloody brilliant. Bloody fucking brilliant. (Why? No reason.) And bloody fucking absurd. Absurd indeed. Yes indeed. (Why? No reason.) Other than that, Rubber is an homage to the no reason. As the introduction states, “Life itself is filled with no reason.” (Why? No reason.)

    A wily and witty postmodern re-imagining of the slasher genre, Rubber damn well better become an instant cult classic; if not, Roger is going to blow your head up. (Why? No reason.)

    Rating: 8/10

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