Blur (Vol. 3)
S.R. BISSETTE'S BLUR (VOL. 3)
cover by Stephen R. Bissette; design by Jon-Mikel Gates
The third of four volumes collecting the complete weekly "Video Views" columns (1999-2001) by renowned cartoonist, author and film scholar Stephen R. Bissette covers the video and DVD releases of November 2000 to May 2001.
5x8 tpb, 216 p.
On MI2 (Mission Impossible 2): "...as in so many modern Hollywood thrillers, however 'real' the stuntwork, we cease to be amazed given the soup of CGI-enhanced non-reality they swim within. To paraphrase an old hippy joke, when there is no gravity, action films suck."
On Gladiator: "Yes, Commodus is a dim echo of the real corruption Rome's most terrifying despots personified; for that, the justifiably infamous X-rated Bob Guccione travesty Caligula (1980) and Joe D'Amato's even more depraved (!) knock-offs come closest to the mark, and they STILL fall short of the genuine excesses history has recorded."
On The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps: "...proof once again that less is more -- and more is much, much less when it comes to overblown, overproduced, over-calculated filmmaking-by-committee sequels. Feed 'em all to the giant hamster, I say."
On Julien Donkey-Boy: "...a calculated assault on the very notion of film-as-entertainment. You aren't meant to be entertained, or amused, but challenged. This is an ugly, distressing, depressing work; but it's also an engaging, fascinating sui generis work, and once seen, it is impossible to forget."
As the Millennium turned, Bissette wrote with perceptive wit and a greater grasp of cinema history than the high-ticket critics. From the slick Hollywood fantasy Frequency ("...Frequency gets nervous whenever it approaches any real emotional candor...") to Dogme 95 spawn Dancer in the Dark ("...Von Trier embraces the seductive power of the musical form... while surgically exposing its madness..."), he screened 'em all. He covered true indy films (When Pigs Fly, Tracy Moffet's BeDevil, etc.) and often interviewed the filmmakers themselves (of Delinquent, Waiting and Nice Guys Sleep Alone). He discussed the revivals (Dementia, The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen, Georges Franju's Les Yeux Sans Visage/Eyes Without a Face) and rehashes (Heavy Metal 2000), the glorious (The Sopranos, Almost Famous, Tigerland, Wonder Boys, and 2000's top 20) and the ghastly (Battlefield Earth).
The renowned artist, editor, publisher, writer, scholar and critic brought special insights to the 'blur' of comprehensive weekly columns covering the constant flow of video and DVD releases. Writing at lightning speed, his focus remained razor-sharp.