Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gregg Araki: This is How Pop Culture Ends

Gregg Araki has carved his initials into the collective consciousness that cries out for a taste of cinema madcap and unorthodox. From his New Queer Cinema beginnings to his Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy(The Living End, The Doom Generation, Nowhere) to his groundbreaking experiments in genre (Splendour, Mysterious Skin), Araki has made his voice heard helter skelter. Love or hate his kaleidoscopic palette, Godardian subversion and preoccupation with adolescence and sexuality, you must admit you've never seen anything quite like it.

Araki's newest excursion to America's darkside is a laudatory return to his roots, over the top, hilariously disturbing, a pastiche of our country's strafing death obsession.

Kaboom moves in phantastic ways, its structure and milieu redolent of his cult classic Nowhere with it's teenaged fetishism, slang and angst ridden core, but through the blood red glasses of an auteur who has matured and now looks upon the world much more objectively, albeit with his kinky free spirit intact.

The plot is almost beside the point, as an ambisexual, confused college student throbs through his days and dreams surrounded by crystallized cliches from all the teen shows and movies, the fag hag girlfriend, surf stud roommate, promiscuous party girl and sloe eyed boy crush, as a bizarre cult conspiracy seems to be responsible for the mysterious disappearances of his classmates.

The cast is talented and game, the laughs twisted and delightful, building to an apocalyptic climax that only underscores this groundbreaking satirist's jovial, joyous deconstruction of teen horror films and shallow American pop culture in general.

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