French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux premiered his latest, RUBBER, at IFC last night. He introduced the movie in person, pleased by the full house turnout of "young people" who froze their supple selves waiting in the line. "Fuck old people!" was an enthusiastic response. Dupieux asked, "Do you really want to see this movie?", warning that it was short*, but long in the sense that it was very boring.
Though Dupieux is, in fact, French electro musician, Mr. Oizo, RUBBER takes place somewhere in North America, so the dialogues are entirely in English. The protagonist is an ambitious tire — yes, a tire, made of rubber — enthralled by its own prowess. It has the ability to vibrate in a rage directed at an object or a being, which then psychokinetically explodes from within. We know it's enthralled because it's all too eager in slipping into vibrato rage mode, and lucky us, we get to watch every gruesome explosion but one.
The opening scene of RUBBER reveals the underlying motive of the movie. We are told by a bizarre police officer about the existence of "no reason" behind key dimensions of any film, especially the classic, celebrated ones — "Why is the alien in Steven Spielberg's ET brown? No reason." He says movies are driven by such purposelessness because so are our lives. The one we are about to watch, we're told, is an homage to the cinematic tool of No Reason, a tool crucial to the element of style. But it's not the audience — us — that the police officer is speaking to, it's to a group of characters that has traveled to a middle-of-nowhere landscape to watch a movie through binoculars. Why? No reason is right!
*Not too short, it was about an hour and 15 minutes (?) long.