- Product Rating -

Art House Asshole : Reality

| January 6, 2017

You know how when you’re wanting to go to the movie theater and you look up all the films that are showing and there are alway at least three that you’ve never heard of, let alone have any interest in seeing? Well, good news! I’ve seen those movies. I spend most of my theater experiences in art house theaters watching those movies that you’ve never heard of and then never watch. Yeah, I’m that hipster asshole. My goal with this is to spread information out about these films, that way you can decide one of the following. “That actually sounds pretty cool! I want to see that now!” or “Man, I’m glad I decided to go see the new superhero movie!”. So without further ado, here is my article and review of Reality.

Is this what insanity feels like? I’m pretty sure this is what insanity feels like. I’m not sure what I expected walking into this film. I’ve seen a couple other films by Quentin Dupieux. And it’s not like he’s known for his standard narrative structure. And this film is Dupieux’s darkest and most serious. But I’m pretty sure that if I ever start viewing life in a way where Dupieux’s filmography makes sense, I’ve probably gone insane.

This is normally where I would explain the plot to the film to give you an idea of what this film is about. It also is to inform you if this film would be up your alley. The biggest plot line that this film has going for it is that it follows this maybe film director who wants to make a horror film. The only catch is that he needs to find the perfect scream. So that’s what I would put in the synopsis box. But that is maybe fifty percent of the film. The rest of it I’m not even going to try to explain. If I tried you would just get confused and honestly I would probably get confused as well.

It’s hard to describe this film for a couple reasons. Dupieux is in a strange group of filmmakers that I can’t really put a title on. He doesn’t fit into the Sundance crowd of mumblecore or indie-darling filmmakers. He doesn’t fit into the Cannes group of filmmakers who make art and what most people call pretentious. And he certainly doesn’t fit into the Fall Season Film Festival crowd who make oscar bait type films. He kind of exists in his own universe of filmmakers. Which I love, he makes whatever he wants. Say what you will about Dupieux’s filmography (if you aren’t aware he is the director of Rubber and Wrong and Wrong Cops), but the fact that he does whatever he wants is why when you watch his films you get pure “art”.

The film doesn’t make sense for the most part. You can put it together once the film starts winding down, but I write this a day after watching it. And I will say that there are parts that I genuinely don’t understand how they fit in. If you have seen the film, I’m specifically talking about Eric Wareheim’s character. I don’t understand his purpose or why he is in the film. I see how he connects to the main characters. But I have no idea as to why he is here. And normally this would be a problem. But with Dupieux, his filmmaking style is so different, that might be the point. Maybe Eric Wareheim is only in this film as a red herring. I don’t know! And that’s why I really like Dupieux’s filmography and specifically this film.

I understand if you are the kind of person that needs a film to be wrapped up when you finish watching it. But my personal taste in film is that I like a film to have an aftertaste. Something that keeps me thinking for a long time. And that is what I got with Reality. Do I understand it? God no. And where you might have that anger you, I was really into it. A film like this allows you to really make the film out to whatever you want to be. It’s the closest I can imagine to a film being pleasing for everyone. But in that sense, it pleases no one. Because I know only a very select group of people will be interested in this kind of film. And those that might be interesting in this kind of film will be turned off by the style. So really, the film can work for anyone, but will only work for maybe a solid seven people.

Where Rubber, Wrong Cops, and Wrong are all comedies, this film is very much a darker and more serious film. There is comedy to it, but it is a lot more subtle and hidden than the rest of Dupieux’s filmography. Even if you have seen the rest of his work, this still might not work for you. The dark tone and surrealist narrative are very much present and strong from beginning to end. So let this review be a warning.

I am recommending this film. But probably not to you. I liked the film. But I am one of the seven people that will like this film. You most likely aren’t. So I am recommending this to you if you have a very similar mindset to me. If not, avoid this film. Because you will probably hate it. But that’s how this guy works. You either love Dupieux or you hate Dupieux. But regardless, it’s Dupieux without a doubt.

About the Author:

Henry Jarvis is the youngest member of the Reel Nerds. His favorite films include Space Jam and Dude, Where’s My Car? and Lawrence of Arabia. He enjoys those pretentious art house films that Ryan hates. He sees a lot of movies! Honestly more than he should. He replaces his lack of social skills and meaningful friendships with his love of cinema! He’s also crying while he writes this biography for himself. His favorite directors are Andrei Tarkovsky, David Fincher, and David Lean.
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