Gummo comes to us courtesy of the off-kilter psyche that dreamt up the script for the highly controversial Kids. Not surprisingly, it's an equally disturbing but innovative tale about teenage angst - this time set in Ohio's mad small-town suburbs. One of the most striking things about it is that director/scribe Harmony Korine abandons conventional linear narrative. Gummo is a collection of insights into the grim and macabre existence of an impoverished neighbourhood, which hasn't yet recovered, either physically or economically, from the devastation wrought by a tornado. It focuses on two bored, geeky adolescents, Tummler (Nick Sutton) and Solomon (Jacob Reynolds), who spend their time killing stray cats, sniffing glue, visiting prostitutes and annoying the neighbours.
Korine's intimate shooting style involves the viewer in the increasingly gruesome escapades. The experience is an intense one, so much so that you start to feel strangely numb, yet leave the cinema profoundly affected by what you've seen. Suffice to say, this isn't a film for the faint-hearted or for anyone who's fond of cats, but it's a compelling and thought-provoking movie nevertheless.
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