Monday, September 14, 2009

D. ray white is my daddy

and i love my daddy, till the day i die...

white lightnin' is the shadowy filtered monochromatic biopic of dancing outlaw, jesco white. created by first time feature director dominic murphy, the film is as abruptly brutal as it is brilliant as it is beautiful.

the closing night film at this year's sydney underground film festival, it continued to enrapture a stoic audience as its implied violence had the strongest stomachs & eyes wincing whilst remaining hypnotically steadfast on the screen accompanied by the entrancing beat of the banjo & famed appalachian feet of the psycho hillbilly from lynchian hell.

with demons hot on his toe-tapping heels the fictional account of real life career criminal jesco white is probably not the tourist grabbing PR campaign west virginia will be producing anytime soon. the darkest elements & clichés of psycho white trash is pushed multiple stops within an exaggerated but bleakly sellable inch of itself. a real life horror story which makes stereotypical pulp cinema like wes craven's, the hills have eyes & hillbilly horror look like name-brand pussy fodder for spoilt kitty-litter dependent siamese whilst rewriting the hitchcock's psycho shower scene. refocus eyes. stay away from needles. moonshine bottles. and gas.

with similarly rose-colour stripped shades to harmony korine's [gummo, kids] harsh graphic riposte themes, there's a wonderful narrative curve which provides more than cheap shock value, especially considering visible screen violence is actually minimal, the implication is extreme. the story is delivered with sensitivity & panache.

edward hogg's rendition of the renegade protaganist is mesmerising. carrie fisher's supporting role as older lover cilla is odd but works well depicting both the ostrasization & variable realty perception of both polarized identities.

the religious epiphanies in this film are enough to either inspire martyrdom or life long atheism. with production design which elevated these moments to moments of visionary elevation, white lightnin' s end is as chilling & poetic in an iconographic fashion that it made me feel all angelina jolie. first i just need to work on my dance steps.

[thanks to the ever gracious interwebs for providing pix. i ♥ you]

and now for the real thang...

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