Gummo. It’s like no other movie you have ever watched. In fact, it’s not a film at all. It’s a collection of vignettes, pictures, short films, home-made VHS videos, a lot of improvisation, very little acting and an enormous amount of reality.
It’s like I had been waiting for a film like this for the whole 19 years of my boring life. The film itself is the expression of boredom. I won’t waste my time on telling you what Gummo is about. It’s about nothing, and everything.
This is the type of film I had always wanted to make. No actors, no special lighting, no high quality cameras and high profile celebrities. Just a bunch of people doing their own thing. No need for scripting or planning or anything. The film is more natural than any other movies you have ever seen. What makes it natural? The fact that the majority of people playing in it aren’t actually acting. They are being themselves. Nothing is made up here. Everything is real.
I am sitting in my room right now, I turned of Gummo 5 minutes ago, but I still have its images floating in my mind. The weird feeling is the realization that a film doesn’t need actors, it doesn’t need any planning. You just have to film whatever comes to your mind, because that’s what’s the most interesting: the little images floating up in your brain without you even thinking about anything. You just have to capture them. It doesn’t even matter if people will understand or not. People like what they don’t understand, what intrigues them, what makes everyone think differently.
There are many things you can think about while or after watching Gummo. Or there is nothing to think about, you just have to watch. Some people give every detail a symbolic meaning. These types of people try to give every film, every book a meaning. They don’t understand that not everything has to be philosophical, not everything has to make you think about morality and what is wrong or right.
Gummo is one of the films that make you feel like life is about nothing, and also about everything. At least that’s how I feel. The characters are doing stuff. Just stuff. They aren’t trying to change their lives, or the lives or others. They just do what they feel like doing and don’t question the morality of their actions. I guess every Harmony Korine movie is like that. There is no morality, there are no questions. There are just people. People and their habits and behavior is intriguing, not the plot or the meaning of the film.