DECEMBER 8, 2007
Uh... um... the uh... yeah.
How can one review a film like It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine!? Any film directed by Crispin Glover is bound to be a bit strange, but this makes an average David Lynch film look like the epitome of mass appeal.
The film was written by its star, Steven Stewart, a man who suffered from cerebral palsy (and died from it a month after filming was complete). The fact that he wrote it should dispel any notion that Glover is exploiting him, but I’m sure some folks will still see it that way. Still, it doesn’t make the film any less uncomfortable to watch, especially when, about an hour into the film, we are shown Stewart being given oral pleasure (for real, not fake “head bobbing” style), shortly before he kills the girl by running her neck over with his wheelchair.
Oddly enough, a few years ago I suggested a film in which the villain was an actor who had downs syndrome or some sort of handicap. My feeling was (and still is) that they had just as much potential to be bad as anyone else in the world. The person I was talking to was quite offended by this notion. But she was (and still is) female, so it’s probably OK when Crispin Glover does it.
Glover finances the films (this is the 2nd part of a thematic trilogy, the first of which, What Is It, was finished a year or so ago after nearly a decade of production) with the money he makes from appearing in what he calls “corporate” films such as Charlie’s Angels. Which is pretty awesome, if you ask me (at least he’s honest), but on the flipside, it means that the film is shot in small chunks over a long period of time, without a lot of the resources one would usually have for a film. Unsurprisingly, this results in some technical issues (overly grainy footage, out of focus shots, etc), not to mention some fragmented storytelling (one character, played by Lauren German from Hostel II, disappears about 20 minutes before the end).
And, while it’s not exactly an issue, it should be noted that Stewart is often very difficult to understand and his dialogue is presented without subtitles (everyone in the film understands him perfectly, and usually it’s obvious what the gist of what he’s saying is). Glover, during his endurance test, er, Q&A (which lasted longer than the film itself), explained that putting subtitles would send the wrong message, and I agree. Still, a guy who watches a horror movie every day and eats pasta without sauce isn’t exactly the average person whose opinion you would want on such matters.
Glover has no plans to release these films on DVD; he likes to be in the audience and talk about them with everyone. So if you’re curious, check out his official website and see if he is coming around. The evening also comes with a signing and an hour or so of Glover reading some “books” he wrote, which are slide shows that don’t make any goddamn sense but are still more or less entertaining. If you like something different, you can’t do much better (or worse, depending on your POV) than this.
What say you?