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Fowler’s Flix 06.12.19: Angst in My Pants

Altered Innocence
These kids need to turn up Big Fun's "Teenage Suicide (Don't Do It)" in the bleak comedy (?) "Permanent Green Light."
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That feeling of deep anxiety or unfocused dread—otherwise known as angst—is typically the thing of teenagers and Germans; I kid, but it truly is such a powerfully emotive force, almost the equivalent of pure love, it can produce some devastating actions. So it’s no wonder that love (or the lack thereof) can bring us such watchable pieces of evocative art, especially in such a loveless world that can use it to commiserate with. It’s a theme I definitely noticed running through this week’s flicks…

In the comically disturbing film Permanent Green Light (Altered Innocence), we find French teenager Roman plotting his own spectacular suicide. Not wanting to be too clichéd, he spends much of the running time trying to find the least obvious way to off himself when he meets a similarly dark teen named Leon, who dutifully collects suicide vests; the teens strike up a friendship of sorts, which turns into an awkward love affair. Directed by Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley, this film also landed on John Waters’ Top Ten Films of 2018.

An obsession with the an elfin Bjork-like singer drives the hypnotic film All About Lily Chou-Chou (Film Movement) as a sixth grader’s obsession takes him out of the world of absolute torture he has to deal with from school and peers on a regular basis; however, when he joins an online chatroom, it leads to a far darker world of prostitution and other low crimes. A heart-breaking flick, we sincerely hope that the very singer he believes in is going to somehow save him, but in these films you never can tell.

A particularly moody mystery, A Dark Place (Shout! Factory) features Donny (Andrew Scott), a small-town garbage truck driver that befriends one of the kids on his route. When this child disappears, Donny delves deep into the boy’s eerie vanishing, challenging the authorities’ fraudulent take that the kid is really nothing more than a runaway. Reminiscent of Blue Velvet—the small-town feel here is creepily dead-on in its depiction of the underbelly’s underbelly—it’s a film worth doing your own investigation with.

Finally, here’s the mostly watchable Industrial Animals (Troma), with the tagline “We are all submissive humiliating dominating animals,” which really lets you know what type of ride you’re in for. Two small-time filmmakers hire a specialized sex-worker to explore what goes on in the life of what they believe is a common hooker, one that takes them into a world of violent depravity that is actually pretty depressing.

Like I said: mostly watchable…but pretty depressing.

But, once the credits roll, still, it’s a fictional depression, one that eventually moves out of the way to let humble pains of real life back in. Now that, my friends, is truly worth crying over.

Next week: World Cinema and Beyond!

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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