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eyeswide's reviews view profile

Underappreciated Work of Offbeat Art  
12345678910
on February 1, 2009 - 1:07 AM PST
  of The Doom Generation (1995)
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
 


True, this one's not for everyone (hence many bad reviews). It's disturbing, violent, existential, muddled & confrontational. Still, I think it's underrated. There's artistry here, woven subtly through a seemingly patchwork plot.
1st time I saw it, it haunted me for days. Didn't watch it for years until this week, reminded me why I dug it: It's both glaringly contemporary (in an urban wasteland way) and a nostalgic tribute to several other styles. This film inspired me to come up with a genre moniker: Neo-Pulp-Noir. As in Noir, it's dark, morally amiguous & characters + dialogue swing between deliberately campy, & truly intense. As in Pulp, there's lots of sex & violence, & futility of the human condition. There are nods to Natural Born Killers here, but the scenes of surreal, bloody carnage so grotesque it's almost comical, are worthy of Japanese horror maven Takeshi Miike!
I'm not a Rose McGowan fan, she's so good at playing the irredeemable, but behind the obvious f*** everything bravado of her Amy, we see the freaked out vulnerability of a teen in a screwed up world. The dynamic between her and James Duvall's sweet, simple Jordan is both tender & erotic. All 3 teens exhibit an equal amount of the insatiably compulsive, & yearningly lonesome. We're pulled between seeing them as monsters, & relating to their alienated pathos. They're emotionally dulled casualties of the TV generation, but their human spirits keep breaking through as they journey in the wasteland. The plot's meant to be disjointed, to convey a hyper-real immediacy of circumstance.
Finally, this is a perfect example of how a great soundtrack can turn a B-flick into a unique, unforgettable vison. Araki has a gift for picking killer, non-mainstream bands, which he says come from his own collection. In D.G, the music is a brilliant mix of pounding industrial and ethereal shoegaze, & is frequently downplayed, as if coming through the car stereo, so it serves to punctuate the sense that you're right there, in the moment, a teenager again, caught up in a sensory bath of danger, love, excitement, and erotic adrenalin.

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