This week, the oddest DVD to appear on release lists is:
“This Is Not a Movie”
If you ever feel overwhelmed by the glut of music, TV, movies, videos, social media, advertising and assorted other electronic detritus that seem to dominate our lives, then Mexican filmmaker Olallo Rubio’s dystopian mélange “This Is Not a Movie” (due out on DVD Tuesday) will most likely send you over the edge.
Rubio, a well-known Mexican radio personality whose popular program focuses on music, social issues and American pop culture, proves to be a trickster when it comes to moviemaking. This, his second film, is shot in English and set in the garish, neon environs of Los Vegas, where reality, horror, fantasy and hallucination mingle freely.
The story is a hodgepodge of earnest but pessimistic musings about the nature of reality and the worth of mankind. With the apocalypse on the horizon, a wayward pilgrim named Pete (Edward Furlong of “American History X”) locks himself in a Vegas hotel room and tries to sort out the meaning of things through a buzzing onslaught of film, TV, disinformation, drugs, hallucinations and propaganda.
In the tortured, psychedelic journey that follows, Pete takes on three distinct personas as he (and the filmmaker) struggle to make some point about the chaos of modern life. With a puzzling appearance by Peter Coyote as a corporate CEO of Propaganda and a jangly original musical score by Guns N Roses guitarist Slash, the movie ambitiously reaches for profundity but grasps only cool confusion.
It’s makes an artful stab at some big social message, but it’s such an incoherent mess that “This Is Not a Movie” more than lives up to its title (and not necessarily in a good way).
“This Is Not a Movie” is rated R and runs 99 minutes. It’s being released by Lorber Films.
- Dennis King