July 26, 2010

One of the greatest achievements of a well programmed film festival is a healthy dosage of off-beat selections that provide serious cinephiles with a little respite from an otherwise art-cinema heavy screening schedule. And I have to say, Saturday’s late night session of Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber (2010) is a great example of this year’s varied program. 

As the inexplicable sheriff points out, a lot of great cinema is predicated upon a basis of “no reason” and apparently Rubber is “an homage to the no reason; a powerful film of style.” This is absolutely true and what follows is the ridiculously self-conscious and self-reflexive “story” of a killer tyre. From water bottle to glass bottle to bird, this tyre is out to kill with its incredible telekinetic capabilities.

It is indeed a matter of substance over style but it is also acknowledged ad nauseum so you can’t exactly critique it based on that one issue alone. My only real reservation is that the film becomes a little tedious, too acutely aware of itself and yet still somehow not quite aware that it would have worked somewhat better as a short. Certainly one for the cult audiences, Rubber is an entertaining exercise in contemporary counter-cinema and, simultaneously despite and because of its flaws, it’s worth what it requires of your attention.

Rubber is screening as part of this year’s MIFF and will be screening again on Monday 02 August 2010, 9.15pm, Greater Union cinema 4 and Saturday 07 August, 11pm, Cinema Nova.


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