Fix (Tao Ruspoli, 2008): USA

In writing there is a style called creative nonfiction born out of people who would right memoirs and make up half the book with their imagination. It is the same here with FIX. Fix tries to sell us on a trip through Los Angeles in much the way that Hunter S. Thompson would do it. A hand held camera keeps the focus close and tight. People come and go, in and out of the framing of the lens. The camera is a hand held which means it used to move along with the people. It could go down halls on a minutes notice. It could shoot through a door that was partially open. Everything with a hand held brings spontaneity to the cinematic form. While Leo is a good actor, so good in fact one might think that he has done heroin before. This distinction was never made clear. The camera operator, Leo brother, brought in his girl friend as the third wheel and the driver most of the time.

Parts of the movie were ludicrous and part were just kinda interesting. For one, no one in their right mind, which the girl friend is supposed to be, would go along with this half baked plan, which is Leo’s plan, which translate into no plan at all.
The camera work left a little to be desired. There were no moment when the camera was stationary and we could get a concrete feeling for what was going on. Only one long continuos take that ended usually when they went to the next scene. The shots of the poorer parts of Los Angeles gave one the impression of the loneliness and depression life down in the lower class neighbors can be. Even the road was shot so it was just a flowing stream of colored concrete. This effect made us feel, a little like, we were their on the ride a little stoned ourselves. The interesting trouble they get into made for an interesting ride as we look into a junkies life. But it all seemed a little to cute . It was not to the very end that we enter a abandoned house where there is nothing but trash and glass on the floor. In the corners junkies sit and shoot themselves up. When the camera turns their way the look in their eyes is vacant and three shades of the wind away from death. As he fixes himself up for the needle. He then provides the camera with a good look at the whole process. The heating in the spoon, the sucking it up into needle and to pushing few drop out of the needle to get rid of the air pockets. After all the preparation he starts to stick the needle between his toes which, when they fail, he could go for the eye lids next.
While in ways the experience felt real and I think that was what the director/cameraman wanted, parts of the movie were just to cute, to hip, almost at parts, glorifying the whole fly by your pants attitude. Yet it is an audacious attempt to make a complete film only with a hand held camera. Doing so is at one both liberating and confining in terms of what you can and can’t do in the cinematic experience. When all is said and done the ending rang extremely true. A sound cinematic experience even if you can poke hole in it’s rather flimsy plot.


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