Gummo discussion

Does anyone have a grasp on this movie? Anyone know if the kid in bunny ears symbolizes anything or was the director just on crack?

I think Harmony Korrine just wanted to have a kid in a bunny suit in his film. I’d have to watch the interview again.

I found this to be a rather disturbing film, in that I know there are people like that in this country. I wonder if the people of Xenia, Ohio make of this film? It’s certainly not very flattering. It’s like a freak show.

(But I liked it enough to pick up the DVD.)

There are no words to describe just how much I hated this movie. Despised it. Hated it.

If you really like this one, there’s a trailer park filled with great unused footage near my hometown.


And here I was expecting a thread about Zeppo’s predecessor as The Fourth Marx Brother. :frowning:

Me too RT. Talk about a tease.

[Red Buttons] Poor Milton Marx, who once said to his brother Julius “You know, I’m thinking you might want to try a moustache.”, never got a thread. [/Red Buttons]

No surprise Rufus would think of the Marx Brothers, but the first thing I thought of was Gummo the film.

Man, Linda Manz sure plumped out! She was a scrawny kid in The Wanderers, Out of the Blue and Days of Heaven. I’d heard she was living in a trailer in Lake Hughes (a rural community in the “mountains” between the Mojave Desert and Santa Clarita) with some kids in the mid-to-late 1980s. It looked like she gave up acting. I guess she got back into it in the 1990s.

Well if you edit that footage into 89 minutes… :wink:

The first time I saw Gummo I didn’t know what to make of it. I knew nothing about it and I came in in the middle (it was on teevee). It looked like a documentary. I didn’t recognize Linda Manz, and the girl with Downs was real. It was fascinating in a grotesque way. There’s a lot to hate about it, but as a work of art it is really good. Geez, I need to watch it again…

I thought of Gummo Marx as well, i’ve been hitting the Marx Brothers’ films this past week at the video store. Is Gummo on tape anywhere? I know nothing about him.

I loved this movie, but can totally understand anyone who hasn’t. The first time I saw it, I was horrified. But the next time I watched it, every scene became strangely beautiful, and I was still discovering new things about it during my third watching. I guess it’s time to get the DVD.

Har! :slight_smile:

I’ve seen this movie three times, most recently a couple of days ago, and I am still uncomfortable watching it. If the kid in the bunny ears is supposed to be a symbol of something, then I think the director is full of pretensious bullpucky. But if he’s just there, as are numerous other elements, then I don’t know what to make of it. As a work of cinematic art, it’s just undefinable. It reaches me on so many different levels I can’t begin to comprehend it. I cannot, for the life of me, find anything beautiful or redeeming about this movie, yet I know I’ll watch it again. Egad!

i saw it and was amused. its been awhile and don’t remember much, but it in rotation on IFC, so i might have to catch it again. i remember the scene of that ugly kid eating spaggetti in a filthy bath, and him dropping a candy bar in! And the dude who couldn’t even score with a gay, black midget!

what a strange film!

No film footage of Gummo exists, mainly because Gummo left the act somewhere around 1918. The Brothers were a relatively successful vaudeville act when the U.S. entered the Great War. They realized that, with five male children in the family, at least one of them should enlist. Herbert (Zeppo) was too young to enlist, and Leonard (Chico), Arthur (Harpo) and Julius (Groucho) were too important to the act to forfeit. Gummo was filling the juvenile role, which was more or less expendable, so he enlisted and Zeppo took over as juvenile. It was a good decade before their first film, The Cocoanuts, was made. By that time, Gummo had a career in the box-making business. He later moved to California and became a talent agent, IIRC, partnering with his brother Zeppo, who by that time had left the act.

And, for the record, I also thought the title of the thread was about the elusive Marx Brother. Never hoida this movie you’re all talkin about.

Aonther vote for Marx brother, here.

For some reason, that bathtub scene is fastened to my psyche like a tick on a fat dog’s back! It’s hard to explain why seeing that kid eating spagetti like that grossed me out so much, but it did. Remember when the camera lingered on that drooping suds-covered cowlick for a good 7 seconds? And how gross was it when he dropped that candy bar and then ate it like nothing happened? Ewwwwww!

Other memorable scenes like disgusted and/or amused me:

  1. When that Ugly Boy was flexing his puny muscles in front of that mirror with his mom tap-dancing (and not very well) in his dead father’s shoes. “Like a Prayer” was playing in the background. How surreal was that?

  2. There was a rather mundane scene with the bleach-blonde sisters sitting on the front porch talking. One of them was sitting on the lap of a silent and very overweight woman whose only purpose it seemed was to be a living background fixture, a prop succintly illustrating how “poor white trashish” the whole setting was. How did they cast this character? Did people audition for her role in this movie? Do yall know who I’m talking about?

  3. The “whole black dwarf being seduced by the whining drunk gay white man” was brilliantly unexpected. I’ve never seen such an exchange like that on film before. Remember when he upturned that bottle of wine over his head? That’s not the kind of stuff that’s scripted in a playscreen.

  4. The bare-chested men arm wrestling in the kitchen and then breaking chairs and acting wile. That scene looked real enough to be out of a documentary.

A few quotes by Harmony Korine:

“I gave myself 45 minutes to cast the entire movie out of Burger Kings and slaughterhouses.” (Except for the main characters.)

“I don’t know… It’s kinda hard for me to explain where I get he actual images from. I just wanted to see a boy with rabbit ears… I just needed a boy who was a rabbit to fulfill what it was I was trying to say.”

“I don’t really believe in a… or I don’t really care about a basic narrative. I don’t see a narrative in life. I see stories and I love stories… I could care less about narrative.”