Thursday, November 13, 2014
AFI Fest 2014 Reality Review A New Nightmare From Dupieux
interview we had with director Quentin Dupieux and actress ÉlodieBouchez.
Confusing. Gross. Humorous. A man in a dress. A pig with a tape inside it. A director trying to make a film. They all connect in a surreal new nightmare from director Quentin Dupieux, maker of the mind-bending Rubber and Wrong, in his latest film Reality. Reality is a hard film to describe, and easily could be put into someone's artsy, post-modern pile of things I'm not going to watch. You shouldn't though or you'll miss out some surreal funny moments.
Dupieux is the modern French filmmaker showing off strange ideas, very central to his own thoughts and feelings, yet anyone can relate to. He does this in the strangest way possible by constructing a nightmare for a film director trying to shoot his first big studio film. We're trapped in the nightmare alongside him, Jason Tantra, played by Alan Chabat. What is a breakdown and the frustration of Jason trying to get his film made, given a task of getting an award for the best death scream, easily connects on the simplest of levels of any person trying to get anything done. It's completely meta for filmmakers themselves. For anyone watching it's a frustratingly fun film of some one getting a task done stuck in a dream. You can remember from having dreams yourselves that can be impossible before waking up.
The other achievement is getting laughs from strange moments like a Superintendent, played by Eric Wareheim, being told by a little girl that she'll tell everyone he wears a dress if he tries to take away a mysterious tape she has. The dress was something he thought only happened in a dream of his.
Social interactions that characters have with each other and the people they meet are just ridiculous. Every conversation or word from someone's mouth is so strangely put out it's a joke.
The story mostly revolves around Jason trying to get his film made and spins off to the other characters and how they are each connected. It starts strangely enough with a young girl named Reality, played by Kyla Kenedy. While Jason tries to solve the problem with his film. Reality tries to find out what lies in a mysterious tape. All the while the people they interact with have their own surreal segments that connect with each other.
One of the most surreal moments is Jason seeing is own film playing in theaters. "Waves" is a play on Quentin's previous film Rubber. Instead of a tire killing people, like in Rubber, TV's are killing with invisible waves. The bloodshed we see is over-the-top gore from 80'sand 90's horror films with blood exploding and spurting out of people's heads. This is all happening as Jason pleads with an audience to stop watching, because the film hasn't come out yet. His girlfriend, played by Élodie Bouchez, as Alice, sinks away in her seat as the audience tells him to get lost. On his way out we see Rubber 2 was also playing in the theater.
This surreal comedy can take sometime to get use to for a new viewer of Qunetin's work. Achieving an easier flow than Quentin's last two films Wrong and Wrong Cops, the film eases in on you with funny surreal moments matched by the ho-hum conversations you have with an average person in line. Reality is a silly, bizarre farce of someone trying to start their first big movie, we think...