Tag Archive for Weird

Taxidermia

Taxidermia

Directed by: György Pálfi

Written by: György Pálfi , Zsófia Ruttkay, based on short stories by Lajos Parti Nagy

Produced by: Emilie Georges, Gabriele Kranzelbinder, Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu

Starring: Csaba Czene, Gergely Trócsányi, Marc Bischoff, István Gyuricza, Piroska Molnár, Gábor Máté, Géza Hegedüs, Zoltán Koppány

Running Time: 91 min

Language: Hungarian, English Subtitles

The story of three generations of men, over two centuries, filled with oddities and cringe worthy moments is the only way to describe Taxidermia. This movie isn’t for the faint of heart nor is it for the typical foreign movie connoisseur. All the way from the beginning to the end, the viewer is taken through completely unique stories, each, leaving the viewer either traumatized, questioning who could possibly write a movie like this and where they got their inspiration. Taxidermia is the perfect movie for horror fans or for someone who craves a deranged story with a copious amount of gore and disturbing imagery.

The film takes place throughout three different generations and the settings reflect everything from a small Hungarian slum, decayed by years of neglect, to an old European sports ring, complete with everything one would picture from the communist era and finally the shops and markets modern society. The cinematography itself is beautiful and artfully done though the environments are visually unpleasant and strange which gives the viewer the best of both worlds. As dark as the settings are, there’s always a strange beauty brought out by contrasting colors, camera angles and special effects.

Just like the masterful use when it comes to settings and photography, the gritty and gory parts of the movie are just as brilliant. Taxidermia constantly and graphically depicts gore and bodily fluids in ways that haven’t been done in movies before. The slicing of flesh uses real meat, real (I think) inner organs, real vomit and other fluids which leave the viewer as disgusted as they’d be in real life if they’ve seen anything similar. The movie could never be made in the United States as it would violate numerous health codes not to mention the protests that PETA would bring for a scene where an animal is slaughtered. The imagery quite possibly makes the movie too extreme and graphic for the majority of people, let alone anyone under eighteen.

As if the imagery wasn’t enough, each characters story is extremely twisted and depressing. The grandfather works at a military outpost, where he lives in a small shack and is assigned menial jobs all while having deranged sexual fantasies. His son, a morbidly obese competitive eater, yearns to be with the one woman he loves. Finally we have the grandson, who runs a taxidermy shop and takes care of his father, who is too fat to move, and his giant cats. The generations of strange characters provide the viewer with an interesting story different from any that they’ve seen before.

If you’ve been having trouble finding a movie with a unique plot, strange characters, a mix of beautiful and horrific imagery, Taxidermia is for you. This movie proves that women producers can make a movie just as vile and gory as their male counterparts and that’s definitely a good thing for any fan of the horror genera. While the movie is way too much for most viewers, if you can bring yourself to endure the gritty stuff you’ll be treated to an entertaining and unique movie that isn’t common in a world of movie rip-offs and remakes. Taxidermia is absolutely worth a watch if you’re a fan of the horror, gory or off the wall movies.

(3/5)

Alice in Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland

Directed by: Tim Burton

Written by: Linda Wolverhampton(screenplay), Lewis Carroll

Produced by: Tim Burton, Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd, Joe Roth, Richard D. Zanuck

Starring: Mia Malinowski, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonhomie Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crisping Glover, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry

Run Time: 108 min

Most of us remember the old Disney version of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland from the simpler time when we were much younger and for most people it would difficult to picture the story in any other way then that early animated version. When I saw the ads for the new version, directed by Tim Burton, I was openly bothered with the bill board sized pictures of Johnny Depp as the mad hatter and the overly large balloon head of the red queen which to me at least, was as annoying as a festering mosquito bite that I couldn’t scratch. Honestly, I didn’t want to see this movie from the moment I saw the first advertisement.

For those people who’ve lived under a rock for the last 100 years and don’t know the basic story; Alice in Wonderland follows a young English girl through a psychedelic underworld after she falls down a magical rabbit hole. The underworld is full of strange and curious creatures, like the Cheshire Cat, waging a war between the good white queen and the evil red queen who currently rules over wonderland with an iron fist. The story itself is simple enough but what makes it unique is that the characters and world in which it takes place are a mixture of a fairy tale crossed with a hefty dose of hallucinogens.

This movie is everything you’d expect if you mixed the Alice in Wonderland with the direction style of Tim Burton. The imagery is extremely dark and twisted like in all of Burton’s movies but he still managed to keep the innocent Disney feeling that the Alice character should personify to the audience. Burton is quite possibly the only modern director who could attempt to make Alice in Wonderland and make it work.

Alice in Wonderland features an all star cast who are, quite frankly, amazing at what they do. Mia Wasikowska, who isn’t well known compared to the rest of the cast, delivered a stunning lead performance as the innocent and pure Alice. Johnny Depp, who has always excelled at playing eccentric characters, was the perfect fit as the Mad Hatter and one can’t forget Helena Carter as the Red Queen.

One big problem with the movie is that character and set design relied heavily on the inconsistent quality of the computer animation. Sometimes the animation was done extremely well and other times I couldn’t ignore the way the characters looked which left me debating their artistic merit rather than suspending my disbelief and enjoying the story. On the other hand, I was surprised that I was able to enjoy the hated Red Queen, giant head and all, even though my first impression of her from the advertising had made her the bane of my small world.

Does Alice in Wonderland live up to the legacy of the earlier animated movie? No. The first Alice in Wonderland was a movie that could be watched by anyone, especially children, but this version left me struggling with the question of whether a younger audience or even someone who wasn’t a fan of the story could enjoy it. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland seems as if it was made for those hardcore fans who have grown up and want a darker version of the original movie.

After seeing the movie it became incredibly apparent to me that Disney was relying on the name, since most of us grew up with this story, and the stars to sell the tickets instead the movie itself. In the end, I’m still trying to figure out if I liked the movie and I’m sure most people who see the movie will ask themselves same thing as well. There aren’t any memorable moments that stick out in one’s mind upon retrospect nor are there memorable characters, since we already knew them from older versions of the movie. Alice in Wonderland isn’t a movie you’ll like or dislike; this is just a movie that is there.

(3.5/5)