Twister (1989) - Michael Almereyda
Not to be mistaken for the special-effects driven blockbuster of the same name, Twister is about an oddball family living on a Kansas farm who find themselves trapped inside with news of a tornado approaching. The head of the family is a retired soda tycoon, who is currently dating an evangelist who hosts children's television program. He shares the home with his daughter, who herself has a young daughter, his insanely strange son, and the maid. Michael Almereyda's debut feature is an incredibly weird endeavor that essentially defies any true plot description. In a way it's an absurdest comedy, having some pretty hysterical moments throughout, though definitely not the type of film one should expect to sustain laughter continuously. It's truly a film that is hard to grasp, as it has an abundance of tonal shifts making for a truly bizarre experience. Really the only aspect of the film that is consistent is its absolute weirdness. Given that the film is about a dysfunctional family, this seems to be intentional, though I can't say I really grasped the point Almereyda was trying to make. Many of the performances in the film are stilted and awkward, with dialogue equally as strange. There are plenty of recognizable faces, from Harry Dean Stanton, who is great as the father of the family, to Crispin Glover, who truly gives one of the most bizarre, strange performances I have every seen. I think it's pretty safe to say that there may have never been a weirder performance. The direction by Almereyda is not flashy but acute, especially for a fantastic sequences in which Chris and Maureen, the daughter of the household, share a kiss. Almereyda uses a rear-projection type device in which he projects a cartoon in the background of the actors intimate embrace, almost as if he is suggesting that their love is immature and childish. An incredibly odd experience which is both entertaining and frustrating all at once.
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