Gummo is a somewhat strange film I’ve known of for a while, but only got round to watching last night. Directed by Harmony Korine, it’s set in the town of Xenia, Ohio that was ravaged by a tornado in 1974, killing 35 people and leaving 10,000 homeless. The plot eschews typical narrative but what remains of a storyline follows the day-to-day exploits of Tummler, a boy with “a marvellous persona” who many believe to be “downright evil”, and his considerably inbred friend, Solomon. The rest of the film is structured around a series of sketches and vignettes that explore the nihilistic lives of various residents. The characters are hyperrealistic and engaging and I often forgot I was watching a film altogether, convinced I was actually seeing into the darkest depths of America’s impoverished underbelly.
The soundtrack was also pretty good, featuring songs from acts like Sleep, Burzum, Eyehategod, Absu, Bathory and… Madonna. Intriguing stuff, it’s easy to find a good torrent.