A tire comes to life and uses it’s psychic powers to kill people by blowing their heads up. It sounds like a pretty simplistic film, right? Maybe even a short film you’d find on Youtube that was created by a bunch of adolescent boys aspiring to be the next Spielberg. Oh, and speaking of Spielberg–why was E.T. brown?………..No reason. And therein lies the beauty of Rubber.
The movie opens with a Man standing in the desert behind an obstacle course of chairs. Out of the distance comes a cop car that proceeds to smash all the chairs before stopping in front of the Man. From the trunk emerges the Sheriff who casually takes a glass of water from the other cop driving the car and comes up to tell the audience about the film we’re about to witness. Only he’s not talking to us, he’s talking to the random group of people who appear behind the Man. They’re in the desert to watch a movie, a movie that according to the Sheriff has no reason. Because life is full of no reason. And from there the audience (us and them) watches as a tire comes to life and realizes it’s potential for killing, strangers meet and intersect in patternless ways and the Man follows the orders of an invisible Master. Why? No reason.
On the surface, “Rubber” is a B-movie but one that’s beautifully shot with gorgeous scenery and sunsets. It’s also an absurdist comedy in the vein of “Wilhelm Reich in Hell”. But maybe, just maybe there’s more to it than that. Now this is merely speculation on my part but underneath the exploding heads and one-off jokes, “Rubber” is a film about senselessness. Senseless violence has become a way of life and is unfortunately all to easily ignored. Senseless poverty goes unseen and unheeded every day. Hunger and homelessness are worldwide problems with no end in sight. Scenes of the Audience correlate to the action in the “movie” they’re watching in their decension upon each other after more than a few days in the desert with no food. What starts as simple annoyance and sniping with each other turns our Audience into a ravenous horde whose downfall is their inability to simply get along and work together.
Several scenes in this film involve the act of ignoring, from latent child abuse to environmental destruction. Then there’s the acts of impatience and the quest for fame. We want what we want and we want it now and there’s many in the world that want their fifteen minutes.
So maybe “Rubber” is a social commentary about the state of mankind. Or maybe it’s just a story about a tire that likes to blow up heads. Either way, it’s an interesting film and I’d say your time is much better spent watching this than the new Legos movie that’s supposedly coming out……
Posted on 2012.14.May, in Absurdist, French Cinema and tagged french film, killer tire, rubber, samuel beckett, wilhelm reich in hell. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.
OMG Misty – this is only one of my FAVORITE movies!! I totally loves the entire thing but the end was FANTASTIC! We should totally keep this as a candidate for she said / he said.
Yes, yes, yes!!! I would so love to hear your thoughts on it!!! I am so in love with this movie. I think it’s bloody brilliant!!
no kidding! I wrote about it over on my site if you want to check it out – your write-up blows mine away!! 🙂
Oh please, I *highly* doubt that. ;-p But yes, will go check yours out, can’t wait to read!
Why WAS E.T. brown? I never thought about it before, but that’s a good question. I haven’t seen Rubber yet, as I’m a bit over movies that deconstruct the horror genre (I don’t need it deconstructed again; I know I’m sick in the head for watching) but if you guys liked Rubber this much…maybe.
It’s an excellent question, right? 😉 Maybe check it out and if you do, definitely let us know what you thought!
I would hate to have over hyped it and then you watch it and want to blow up my head but I thought this was damn good.
That’s a great take on the movie. Another thing that struck me right away is that it was a critique on modern Hollywood. Hey dude,
Side note, Quentin Dupieux is a well known French DJ known as Dr. Oizo. I listened to him a bit in the 90’s, he was pretty eccentric. The sheriff makes the movie’s thesis in the beginning that the audience will accept stuff for no reason because the act of watching a movie is accepting what is presented no matter how absurd it is. The fact that you’re watching a movie about a killer tire reinforces this (Oh in the synopsis, the tire’s name is Robert, which is the proper name for Bob. Basic-as-fuck name, maybe that last comment was a little farfetched). The tire represents randomness that you’ll accept because you’re watching a movie, it might also represent 2D characters that make no sense, but you believe anyways, because you’re invested in watching the movie.
I feel like the dude with glasses is like the producer of a movie, and he is interacting the with “audience” he provides a medium to view the “movie” and he treats the audience like shit, making them sleep in the dirt waking them up by hitting him with his briefcase and dropping a turkey carcass in the dirt for them to eat.
The audience is captivated because they’re stuck in the middle of the desert, the only motivation is that they want to see a story unfold. Their hunger is similar to media hype for a film before it comes out. People are starving for new content to consume, and he just drops it in the dirt for them to eat up like animals, and of course, they’re poisoned, or duped (Just like we were all duped with Indiana Jones 4, or the star wars prequels), that one woman even commented “How could he treat his audience like this?!”
But there was that one guy, who wanted more!!! He represents the demographic of people that make a shitty movie still profitable (Think the latest installments to transformers/spiderman), so they keep churning out this garbage. The director/sheriff thinks everyone has been duped, so he tells everyone to pack up and stop working, the cast is all confused though, because to them this gig is so serious to them- maybe they got so emotionally involved in the role, maybe they depend on it because they have nothing else going on. They cannot accept just walking away from something so familiar to them.
The master represents the studio, I think. The producer looks like the one running the show, but OZ is still behind the curtain controlling the whole thing. He decided that the audience must now have their turkey
Eventually that one remaining dude gets so emotionally involved that he becomes a part of the story, and his life is consumed by it.
And now several copycat tires follow this tire’s lead. And they’re invading hollywood…But this is open to interpretation…
That’s a totally awesome theory and I totally see it. Very cool!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing it with us! 🙂