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I’m a get deep like Gilles Cousteau—
“Gilles Cousteau could never get this low.”
My experience with queer cinema grows as Addison Heimann tells his story of seemingly got-it-all-together young Will whose bipolar mother dips back into his life after a ten year absence. Heimann’s story adopts an unsettling aesthetic, with its mirroring shots and recurrence of sinister man-wolves. But there is humour, too, much of it during the many encounters Will endures with increasingly specialized hospital staff, beginning with the spot-on bro nurse, “NP Chazz”, who is the first to reassure him, “It’s amazing what the human mind can do to the body.” Also keep an eye out for the knee-slapping reference to Patrick Swayze’s Ghost (our protagonist here is a potter, you see, and his demons wish to encourage his craft while they break his mind). As a character (and mental breakdown) study, Hypochondriac fits the bill nicely, but at times feels like so much sound and fury, signifying less than I might have preferred. Still, the closing scene, wherein the hospitalized Will takes comfort from his boyfriend and gives comfort to one of his inner demons, makes for both a serious and sweet finale.
Hypochondriac is in limited release in Alamo Drafthouses starting tomorrow (July 29).
Detective vs. Sleuths
Madness continues in this rather-nearly-weird movie. Call it, a police procedural comedy thriller with “Chinese characteristics”. Detective (well, more precisely, ex-cop posing as detective) Jun Lee went a bit off kilter some years ago after witnessing a demon appear at a crime scene. Having lost his badge, he has set up shop beneath an overpass, conversing with murdered murderers (yes) he imagines while overseeing his self-made, and entirely unofficial, bureau of botched cases. The guy’s a genius, you see, and even beyond his run-in with a demon there’s a Butcher / Demon Cop case that has been bugging him for two decades. Jun Lee has inspired a group of ruthless vigilantes, and their extra-judicial revenge on perps who got away lands Jun Lee in a new and manic mess.
As I mention, this film is darn close to qualifying. The premise isn’t new, per se, but watching Jun Lee dive into heavy gun fire armed only with his right hand formed into finger guns was bizarrely hilarious. Also, the director’s tendency to flash back to already-trodden Continue reading 2022 FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL: “BACK AGAIN”, PART TWO