The genius of Harmony Korine, at his debut as director, gave life to this opprobrious gem in 1997.
Gummo has never ceased to represent an emblem of independent film, of that sort of monstrous clashes against your most rooted convictions and beliefs. The work is a manifesto of timeless relevance: a bunch of hopeless characters within a hopeless scenario, weaving a disturbing yet perfectly contemporary collage.
Furious anguish, outrageous attitudes, retarded dolls, widespread amorality, dying cats, abject perversions, adrift youth, black humor.
On the background of US’ lacerated suburbs, these acid elements are combined following a highly fragmented logic flow, disorienting the cut of audience attached to a conventional plot. At the end, the only meaning you can grasp is that there is no meaning.
This is the strength of Gummo, being like a morning star that hits you hard and leaves you stunned. Neither more nor less than that. In carrying out his artistic experiment, Korine strolls like a tightrope walker along a sophisticated path of precarious balance, avoiding sterile intellectualism on the one hand and clichés on the other.
The result is a grotesque ultrachic tableau bound to remain an eternal cornerstone for people who, beyond slimy and frightful sensations, can really “feel”, no matter what.