Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bumblefuck, USA

Bumblefuck, USA, dir. Aaron Douglas Johnston, 2011 USA & Netherlands, 90 min. 
Fri. 6/17, 7:00p @ Victoria, BUMB17V

Jennifer (Heidi M. Sallows) and
Alexa (Cat Smits) in Bumblefuck, USA
Following the suicide of her friend Matt, Alexa has traveled from her home in Amsterdam to his home town, an unnamed small town in Iowa, to make a documentary about gay suicide and the coming-out experiences of some of the locals. Alexa rents a room from Lucas, a guy who gradually slides from socially awkward to creepy to criminally violent. (Note: the film includes a scene of sexual assault.) She also meets (and hooks up with) a lesbian artist named Jennifer and a young man who tends the landscaping at the cemetery. Her adventures with them are intermixed with footage from the documentary.
The biggest knock against the film is that I found the faux-documentary footage far more compelling than the main narrative. Although Alexa is apparently motivated by Matt’s suicide, we learn nothing of the connection they had. Indeed, we see very little beyond Alexa’s outer shell throughout the film. Given Jennifer’s understandable wariness about opening up to someone who’s just passing through, the connection between her and Alexa barely gets off the ground: they’re essentially summer hang-out buddies who have danced around the possibility of much more. There are some sweet moments, and the documentary footage is great, but on the whole I’d have to say Not recommended.

Keywords: Frameline35, LGBT Film

1 comment:

  1. Loved the film... the documentary footage is not faux... fyi.