“Quentin will probably lose some people along the way, because he is never demonstrative, doesn’t tell you what you must feel at a particular moment with a little music saying you should laugh or be scared. His vision is absolutely free, it is at once controlled and instinctive, that’s what he stands for, and that gives the spectator great freedom… The spectator feels a little abandoned, he doesn’t know where he is. That will be the main criticism. And yet it is probably Rubber’s greatest asset. The spectator will be contaminated with the film’s freedom.”–producer Gregory Bernard
DIRECTED BY: Quentin Dupieux
PLOT: To begin the movie, a policeman hops out of a car trunk and explains that “no reason” is the most powerful element of style. We then see a group of people assembled in the desert; a man in a tie hands out binoculars and they are told to train their eyes on the horizon. Through the glasses they watch a tire come to life and observe as it learns to move and blow up heads, eventually stalking a beautiful young woman who ends up in a motel in the middle of nowhere.
- Quentin Dupieux records electronic music under the stage name “Mr. Ozio.”
- Music videos aside, Rubber was Dupieux’s third film, after a 45-minute experiment called Nonfilm (2002) and the French-language flop comedy Steak (2007).
- Dupieux served as the writer, director, cinematographer, editor, sole cameraman, and co-composer of Rubber.
- Robert the Tire was rigged to move with a remote controlled motor, moving the cylinder like a hamster in a wheel.
- Rubber cost only $500,000 to make, but made only about $100,000 in theatrical receipts.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: Obviously, it has to be a shot of Robert, the world’s most lovable and expressive killer tire. We’ll go with the moment when he is standing in front of a Roxane Mesquida mannequin, tentatively rolling towards her, wondering whether it is a real girl or not. You can almost see the furrows forming in his tread as he mulls the situation over.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Well, it is a movie about an animate tire that kills things by making their heads explode telekinetically. That would be enough for most movies, but Rubber rolls that extra mile by adding a metamovie subplot concerning a Greek chorus/focus group in the desert who watch the action through binoculars and comment on it. What emerges from this collision of slasher-movie spoof and Theater of the Absurd is the most clever, original, and hilarious movie mash-up in recent memory.
Original trailer for Rubber
COMMENTS: Why does Rubber start with an extended monologue, full of examples from classic movies, explaining that the film you are about to see is “an homage to Continue reading 151. RUBBER (2010)