Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Schizopolis (1997)

Steven Soderbergh's mental-core-dump movie is, essentially, about self-involvement. It's about the idea that you can never really know anyone else and communication between two people is nigh well impossible. So we get characters speaking gibberish or being dubbed into other languages or being referred to as Attractive Woman #2 or stringing together sentences that don't make any sense or speaking in descriptions of phrases rather than phrases ("Generic greeting!"). Meanwhile, people turn into other people, a character leaves the film when he's offered more money by another film crew, a trash can plays music when paper is thrown in it, Soderbergh wanks on camera at least three times and the state of Rhode Island is turned into a mini-mall rather than being sold "to the fucking Japanese". It's an attempt to express the inexpressible and, in the process, demonstrate the inadequacy of language and representation. Or maybe, just maybe, it's not about anything at all and exists only as a lark, a way for a frustrated artist to clear the pipes. Either way, it's pretty hilarious in a ramshackle, what-the-fuck-is-gonna-come-next kind of way. Like Soderbergh says in the film, "If Schizopolis makes no sense to you, that's your fault and not ours." Whatever it is, I enjoyed it.

Grade: B+


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