25 July 2010 | be-bop-795-4205
Probably the best surrealist movie in years
This is a great surrealist movie, probably the best in years, a true gem which will become a cult classic. No wonder many people hate it: one has to open his mind to understand and enjoy it.
If you routinely switch your creative self off with the 'play' button on your DVD, you'll most probably hate "Slipstream". No peace of mind here. If you are expecting a certain plot and a regular story development from exposition to culmination, etc., you'll be disappointed.
Because this is a story of a story. A story that is not cut in stone once and forever but an open one, an unfinished one, unveiling in many different directions at the same time. It involves different scenarios, actors and real life people changing places, untimely side thoughts, personal memories, citations, flashbacks. Not an elaborate lynchian riddle, although it may remind you of one. 'SLIPSTREAM' IS ABOUT HOW OUR CREATIVE MIND WORKS, did you notice the title? It it about a process rather than about a product. A process that cannot be separated from the writer's own life (well, unless what he's doing is a calculated cynical imitation, of which we are seeing plenty) - and that can only be finalized by death. Given the writer is so old, his mind is freely tripping about past and sometimes the future. Logic and sequence are of no more weight here than his subliminal.
Some find 'clipping' visuals in movies disturbing. I would agree in most cases but not in the case of 'Slipstream'. How better can you introspect the creative process of finding the right scene and the right angle? 'He is waiting in front of a bright yellow sports car... no, acid slate green sports car... oh, may it be a violet car looking the other side?' Besides, the camera work is just very tasty and sometimes visuals are quite beautiful, the American landscapes near Vegas in particular.
Being a rich, thoughtful film of many layers, 'Slipstream' is by no means heavy going or dull - provided you do understand what it is about (see above). There are many memorable scenes (i.e. Slater's loaded gun monologue about the 'Body Snatchers') and little gems (like John Turturro shouting into his cell 'Cannot talk any more, I'm on someone's hard disk!'). Funny, sad, scary, absurd, lighthearted - the movie is true to life as a mixed bag of impressions. Think of Lynch's 'Twin Peaks', of Bunuel's 'Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie', some 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', some Fellini's Amarcord - these are hardly direct analogies but just what comes to my mind in response to seeing 'Slipstream'.
Hopkins is predictably fantastic in his role. Slater, Turturro, Tambor deliver excellent performances. A special note must be made of Stella Arroyave who was so natural and rich I could not believe it was her debut role.
I have been a fan of Hopkins as an actor, now I'm also a fan of him as a director, and of his wife as an actress as well. A 10/10 movie without reservations. Do yourself a favour, make a break from stupidity and watch this movie with all your three eyes open.