Friday, October 13, 2006

Back in Blue Jeans and an Emperor T Shirt. Don't Get Too Excited.

The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
USA, 2004
Asia Argento

Like Seth Putnam of Anal Cunt, I like drugs and child abuse. Unfortunately, the closest I can come to the latter is punching my underage girlfriend in the stomach after unprotected sex. As for the former, stomach ulcers, teeth ground down to saw-edged nubs, and a partially functional left lung leave only the intravenous variety available to me, and that’s a little pricey on a welfare-fraudster’s salary. So, I have to get my fix from watching movies like Asia Argento’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. And while The Heart May Be Deceitful Above All Things may not correctly simulate the dizzying heights of high school Benzedrine abuse as well as I would have hoped, it did make me feel like throwing up blood, so the comparison remains accurate.

That's also how I felt after watching America's Next Top Model, but for diffferent reasons.

The film is based on J.T. Leroy’s memoir of a troubled youth filled with drug abuse, a violently insane mother, and a succession of horrible father figures, each more twisted than the last. The book attempts, and largely succeeds, in transforming Leroy’s childhood into a Holocaust of horror and abuse, where each page brings a new atrocity that befell the youngster. Unfortunately, like the Holocaust, it never happened. Leroy is actually Laura Albert, an author who perpetrated a James Frey-like hoax that was unmasked in 2006 by Steven Beachy in New York magazine. Though this is irrelevant to the film, it does make the viewing experience a little less satisfying, as I have trouble ejaculating when the child throwing up in the meth lab on screen is only a fictional creation. I do find it kind of disgusting that someone would seek to profit off of an over-the-top, exaggerated persona, but that’s only because I hate myself.

Depending on what mood I’m in, Argento’s direction is either incompetent or brilliant. The film is shot in a strange mix of a documentary style, Dogma-ish realism and standard Hollywood techniques, like crane shots and Steadicam. This is either a comment on the source material’s hybridization of reality and fiction, or Argento ran out of equipment rental money halfway through the shoot. As she is the daughter of one of the greatest visual stylists/narrative incompetents in film history, I’m leaning towards the ‘idiot’ explanation, but I guess anything’s possible. Argento also takes a co-starring role in the film, as the young Leroy’s mother. Though she spends most of the movie looking like someone beat the shit out of Uma Thurman and struggling not to sound like coked out Euro Trash, she is suitably scabby and lot-lizard-ugly for the role. Jimmy Bennett as the child is a real pleasant surprise, as he manages to range from shrill to stoned quite effectively for a 10 year old, plus he’s got a pretty mouth. The cast is rounded out by Peter Fonda, Marilyn Manson, sadly, and the always good-but-uncomfortable Michael Pitt. There’s lots of AIDS, hooking, and everything else you might expect to find backstage at Rent. The film is annoying and pretension, just the sort of thing that The Village Voice would pretend to like if the transgendered community were watching, but that’s not to say there’s nothing of interest here. It’s just to say that what’s there is gay, high, and likes to hit kids.


Anonymous broadzilla said...

I hope you walked to the post office right after you wrote this.

(I'm here for your V for Vendetta review, don't get too excited.)

6:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Rin said...

Ebert comes out of hospital and Ash returns on the same day. Coincidence?

10:23 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...


10:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Drek said...

I had never heard of this movie until reading your review. Based on your description I immediately went out to the store, bought it and enlisted 3 friends to watch it with. Although I enjoyed it, I have two friends who said I wasted 2 hours of their lives and one friend who told me that was 2 hours wasted he could have been playing sega genesis. Thanks for coming back Ash.

5:53 p.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

Good to see you back.

10:56 p.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

I'm just here to virtually grope 'Zilla, don't get too excited.

3:06 p.m.  
Blogger nijaz said...

I was an atheist until last year. And then you had to disappear. I move around holding and shifting beads with my cum-covered hands.

But it worked, finally.

Dude, I don't even get the movies you talk about in a thousand mile radius.

But what the hell, I know someone who found passion in child molesting and joined a seminary. I'm sure he can make some home movies and send them across so that I can finally figure out what bloody your talking about.

9:51 p.m.  
Blogger Fatman said...

I'm just here to post stupid jokes because I'm pretty sure you don't read the spam emails I send:

What's the difference between having sex with a 10-year old and a 2-year old?

Generally, when you have sex with a 10-year old, they don't die.

4:48 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Aw. It warms my tiny, tiny heart to see the team back together again.

12:38 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Yeah, it's like the Motley Crue reunion tour. Only less gay. Mildly.

nijaz, where the hell do you live?

9:54 p.m.  
Blogger nijaz said...

I live in this blip on a radar of significance called Dubai.

But still it makes the cover of the magazine ARTIFICIAL every week overcoming the resistance offered by Anna Nicole Smith's breasts.

Here people go to the movies to show off their Armani tampons and come out sans their Victoria Secret underwear.

Speed 2 gets played in an art movie place. Otherwise its R.V getting released in the cinemas. A Texas ChainSaw Massacre after all the cuts will be shorter than an average T.V. commercial.

I'll have mug shots taken for just commenting like this.

1:01 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a ninja!

11:28 a.m.  
Blogger Squish said...


You're back. Sweeeeet.

Think about my blog-a-thon.


1:08 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

What blog o thon?

1:51 p.m.  
Blogger gretchkal said...

yipee! you're back!

8:05 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You fucking make me sick
you perverted, obnoxious, tasteless purveyor of rambling, nonsensical excrement.
You're mind is a toilet, you're writing is sophomoric and self indulgent. and you are not worthy to be spit on by a rabid camel with aids, let alone publish your filth on the Internet.
Get over yourself, honey. You're not intriguing, interlligent, amusing, or clever. You're the scum of the universe.

1:19 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fatman- eat shit and die you fucking slime. I loathe you.

1:21 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nijaz- shithead personified. Zit faced, greasy haired, never been laid, piece of garbage. Good luck. No women will ever go near your scummy body. Hope you don't have carpal tunnel because it's going to make a lifetime of jerking off difficult.

1:24 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Woah. Somebody really likes Asia Argento.

7:12 a.m.  
Anonymous EXCRETION 2000 AND ONE A SPACE UTT-ART said...


4:28 p.m.  

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