Killer Tires

The new film Rubber tells the story of an inanimate tire named Robert (love that name) that suddenly, mysteriously springs to life and starts killing people. Yes, that’s correct. No, it’s not still April Fools’ Day. This very real flick from French techno musician/filmmaker Quentin Dupieux is an audacious meta-experiment. Rife with Brechtian allusions that call attention to the moviemaking apparatus, filled with broad philosophical musings about Scopophilia and other stalwarts of film theory, it sometimes feels like the narrative version of a long-winded film studies class tinged with a love of grandiose conceptual absurdity. Still, the movie offers plenty for the 99.999 percent of us (myself included) that don’t spend your free time debating the relative merits of feminist film theory or devouring Christian Metz. The picture thrills in large part because the filmmaker so gleefully indulges in the craziness of the conceit, mirroring the tire’s deadly advance across a barren American desert with the plight of onscreen spectators perched on lawn chairs, binoculars in hand, devouring the spectacle and debating what it all means.

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Comedy. Drama. Thriller. These are the three words that the Apple website uses to describe Rubber, but you could add to that list, Horror, Psycho-Satire, Meta-Parody and a few other made up words. Rubber is a hell of a movie. It’s a ridiculous film about a killer psychic tire (named Robert) that shows that some filmmakers out there still have the stones and creativity to make something truly new under the sun. Directed by Quentin Dupieux, the movie now has a trailer for you to enjoy/decipher and a sweet release date of April 1st.

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“In Steven Spielberg’s ET, why is the alien brown? No reason. In Love Story, why do these two people fall madly in love with each other? No reason. In Oliver Stone’s JFK why is the president assassinated by a complete stranger? No reason.” And just like that, we begin the story of a tire that terrorizes a Midwest town by making people’s heads explode. A tire. That picks itself up from the desert floor and begins a wobbly journey of self discovery by crushing cans and bottles, exploding rabbits and birds, and maybe even falling in love with a lovely brunette in a Cabriolet convertible. Or maybe not. Point is, it’s a goddamn tire that makes people’s heads explode.

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