Monday, January 31, 2005

First review for Crispin Glover's "What Is It?"

Like the “masterpieces” of this genre, of which I would include Jodorowsky’s “Holy Mountain” and “Fellini Satyricon”, “What is it?” is nearly impossible to adequately describe, think about, or even review. Up until now, Glover’s oeuvre has mostly consisted of fringe characters with fringe, yet unforgettable moments. “What Is It?” however, is like an apocalyptic symphony of the auteur’s unconscious, an unveiling of the masturbating midgets and talking snails of his psyche, if you will. As one critic inanely put it, the film is like “Fellini on psychedelics.” Never mind that Fellini actually was on psychedelics for a time, you get her point. To be fair though, the film doesn’t actually contain masturbating midgets, my apologies to little people everywhere, but it most definitely contains talking snails. And a cast primarily consisting of people with Down’s syndrome. And gallivanting naked women in animal masks. And an anguished minstrel in black face longing to transform into an invertebrate by injecting snail enzymes into his cheek. And a naked man with cerebral palsy laying in a giant seashell getting fondled by one of those naked women. And lots and lots (and lots) of snails getting salted. And finally, Crispin Hellion Glover as a god-like figure in full-length fur coat, scheming against the film’s hero while bowing to a meta-god in the form of a Shirley Temple dictator in Nazi garb. Did I mention wanting my mommy?



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