When quality of film is often estimated according to the popularity of the actor staring in it, it’s rather courageous to make a movie with a tyre in the leading role. Yes, yes, like the one for a car. But actually, Quentin Dupieux‘s film Rubber is far more than an absurd story of a killer-tyre, whom we follow from its very first steps (read: rollings), and witness several killings, committed just for fun by our rubber (anti)hero.
This picture which gives stars à la Tom Cruise a day off, poses some serious questions about the credibility of Hollywood stories and the role of the movie spectator – a figure increasingly demanding and difficult to please. As Dupieux will explain at the very beginning of his latest picture, this is an homage to no reason. Perhaps, this will provide you with some explanations about Roman Polanski’s Pianist or Spielberg’s E.T.:The Extraterrestrial. But this will not be the case for Rubber, because Dupieux will provide us with some interesting questions. Generally, concerning the absurdity and lack of credibility of Hollywood pictures. It is sort of very smart irony – of watching nonsense, made bearable only by the presence of some stars.
Now let’s pass to the spectators, which are so important that Dupieux includes them in his film. Actually, the bunch of people assembled in the desert for viewing the killer-tyre’s story are not there by no reason. By the differences of their age, sex, cultural background, Dupieux shows the ensemble of all the segments of cinema viewers. A more than clever move, which allows him to address to all spectators. He stages scrupulously their reactions and interest in the picture they’re viewing. Of course, he does not avoid the temptation to ironize about the movie-goer, accustomed to the high technical standards, as well as the template of epic Hollywood blockbusters. In my opinion, these aspects could not be shown better than in a form of argument between the director and one of the spectators, who is rudely suggesting, that it is completely impossible that the film ends like this, and demanding that the final has to be changed.
If the story still sounds trashy and absurd, the images and the music are certainly not. The fact that Rubber is actually shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, shows, that the essentials of a visually agreeable take are not in the equipment, but in the head of the cameraman. Speaking of music, it is not required that you’re a number one fan of Mr. Oizo (who, curiously, turns out to be Quentin Dupieux himself…) to enjoy the electric noise-like musical textures, which go in perfect harmony with the picture.
Behind the tyre thing there is an almost one-man show of Quentin Dupieux, the director of Steak and Nonfilm. He does almost everything from writing the script to editing. The outcome is surprisingly good, even there’s a tyre in the leading role.