Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jason goes to the Vortex and sees NAUSEA

And most importantly, there's one more chance for you to see it, tonight, at the Vortex.

Ya know, no matter how many movies I watch (and in reviewing my records from last year I realized I forgot to log two movies, so my total was 444), I can always count on the fact that there's some sick fuck somewhere who will make something I've never even imagined. This time that sick vomiting fucker is Wes Malvini, writer/director/star of NAUSEA

Apparently this is all funnier if you've read a lot of Sartre (I have not) or Bukowski (I have a little, or maybe I've just seen a few movies based on his writing). An unnamed Man (Malvini) is a quirky goofball who be-bops his way down the street to his job at a bookstore. He seems pretty happy wandering through life with his sly, absurdist, dare I say "outsider" viewpoint on humanity. I can relate. So then the Woman (Lindsay Howard) shows up. She's "self-medicated," which is a nice way to say she's drugged out of her mind all the time. The Man is now in love, and that makes him sick. Indeed, as the opening line from Bukowski reads, "There are worse things than being alone." Throw in a rival, Skylar (Dustin Jones) and it gets sicker, although to his credit Skylar is a very good son taking care of his sick mother. And caught in the crossfire is a young family living the suburban American dream, with a baby that (I'm sorry) looks really, really freaky, like a big-headed small-bodied alien (okay, all babies look like that, but most can make it look cute, this one just made it look freaky). But then, maybe that's all due to the color scheme.

Oh yeah, the color scheme. Colors are all manipulated and flipped so skin (and apples, etc) is blue, eyes are yellow, and everything is just bizarre. Apparently they did this to fix one scene that wasn't working, and then just liked how it worked with everything else. In the Q&A they talked about how the colors made you notice things that you wouldn't otherwise. Cool, and I guess it takes a bit of getting used to.

Actually, the whole movie takes some getting used to. I bought the DVD (they were selling it for $10, go to the Vortex and get your own tonight) and re-watched it this morning. The combination of not drunk/struggling to stay awake and knowing what I'm in for made it much easier to understand and appreciate the second time. So there you have it, NAUSEA holds up to--and in fact rewards--multiple viewings. Perhaps I'll go read the complete works of Sartre and watch it again.

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