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Gummo (1997)

Visitor Comments

A refute
Added by Tom Mares (email) on 2005-01-16 17:22:40

Unfortunatley you have chosen the title "Movie Guru" to represent yourself. I've read several reviews such as this one but was moved by a character naming himself as a Guru with such a disappointing reasoning for such an intense disdain for the work. Most high school thesis writing classes instruct (with good cause) that anything mentioned in the theses must be expanded in the body of the work, while in this piece the reviewer new explains why it is that he views Korine's work as pretentious. In response to the last paragraph where it is stated that GUmmo fails because it fails to justify itself to the viewer. However, i would encourage future viewers to consider that perhaps the viewer is the justification. Perhaps each character is a static manifestation of a dynamic viewer. That is to say that each character has only a few characteristics, but these traits are things that exist within us all as dynamic changeable individuals, and comprise the things that we choose not to think about or the actions we choose to repress. Not to say that we are all inherently antisocial, perverted, and incapable of compassion...but more that we are all capable of being those things. Further, Korine chooses to demonstrate those aspects of our humanity to us simply in an effort to get us to atone with ourselves as potentially evil beings. We are all capable of screwing up our kids, we are all capable of withdrawing, and ignoring our problems. LastlyThis reviewer must disagree with the flippant descriptions of the movie. Specifically the scene where the two dyouths unplug their transvestite friends grandmother as this was not an act of malice but of compassions for two tortured souls, both her and her clearly affected grandson caregiver.

Re: Gummo (1997)
Added by Bill King   on 2005-01-21 21:30:33

Tom, thanks for your comments. There are a few things I'd like to address.

First, I didn't choose the term "Movie Guru" to describe myself. The guy who started this website coined that term, and he invited me to be a reviewer (i.e. I didn't ask to join the site). I accepted and have enjoyed being a contributor thus far.

Secondly, your description of the movie prompted me to write the following sentence in the first place: "The result here is that the movie forces audiences to rationalize what they see. There just has to be some meaning in it all, so indie-fans and critics will offer cryptic criticisms to interpret Korine's intentions."

This explains why I see Korinne's movie as pretentious. You missed it. That isn't to say that we shouldn't seek out subtext, but some filmmakers just make weird movies because there are so-called academics who will try to justify the film, so that the filmmaker doesn't have to. I get frustrated with movies like this, as well as "Audition" and "Tetsuo," because all they do is show us startling imagery and want us to think it's important. "Eraserhead" actually does feature true subtext and metaphor, and is worthy of discussion and praise.

I once took a French history class in college. The professor talked about a painter (I don't remember who) whose works were purposefully without meaning, yet people over the years try to interpret the meaning anyway. "Gummo" isn't important, it has nothing to say about life or humanity. It's a geek show, and nothing more. I didn't hate it, if that's what you think. It's just okay.

not black or white...
Added by Vera Breyer (email) on 2005-03-10 15:38:43

This poster forgot to post a comment...

Not this or that
Added by Vera Breyer (email) on 2005-03-10 15:39:23

This poster forgot to post a comment...

Re: Gummo (1997)
Added by Vera Breyer (email) on 2005-03-10 15:54:22

Simply, for me, "Gummo" was a revived experience of scenes of a "poor" world, where kids are left to create their own concepts about everything, judgements of character, behavior, and conmsequently: relationships with everything: food, animals, family,themselves. Clueless of how much richness they are sorrounded, how short is the way from sanity to insanity, how much the lack of objective in early years can be so damaging!! It is a very difficult film to watch because it is shocking and disturbing to accept the fact that the ideas of "Gummo " are so real in parts of society (in the film, in Ohio). Those shocking realities are here for you to see and aknowledge and avoid or even help to correct....

No dought that it is a disturbing film, that in my opinion exposed what nobody wants to admit exists or even wants to hear that is real. The writer had tremendous courage to show to whomever wants to see how disturbing and sick and lost our lifes can be.

Re: Gummo (1997)
Added by Jake Cremins   on 2005-08-17 00:19:31

As someone who really liked this movie (though I'll have to see it again to see whether I still do outside of film school), I have to say that this is one of the only *thoughtful* negative reviews I've read of it. Everyone else is all, "EWWWW DEAD CAT DEAD CAT DEAD CAT!!!!111" Good for you.

Re: Gummo (1997)
Added by Bill King   on 2005-08-17 01:42:30

Thanks Jake. I know what you mean. I've read user comments and reviews that target the imagery, but don't bother to address the film deeper than that.

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