Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Doom Generation

Year of Release:  1995
Director:  Gregg Araki
Screenplay:  Gregg Araki
Starring:  Rose McGowan, James Duval, Johnathon Schaech
Running Time:  83 minutes
Genre:   dark comedy, drama, crime

Amy Blue (McGowan) is nihilistic, angry and bored with herself, with her friends, with her world.  Her main interests are drugs, music and sex (not necessarily in that order), and she maintains an affectionate relationship, withe her sweet, good-natured boyfriend Jordan (Duval).  One night handsome, violent drifter Xavier, nicknamed "X", (Schaech), literally falls onto their car and, after a convenience store clerk is accidentally killed during an impromptu robbery, the three find themselves on the run in a surreal, violent, hallucinatory USA.

A principal figure in the "New Queer Cinema" movement of the late 1980s to early '90s, this was billed as "a heterosexual movie"  by Araki.  In reality it is and it isn't, while the more obvious object of desire is the seductive Amy, it's plain to see that the real love story is between guys Jordan and Xavier.  It feeds quite neatly into the "lovers-on-the-run" road movie genre that was popular in the 1990s (such as Wild at Heart (1990), True Romance (1993) and Natural Born Killers (1994)), but this is funnier than most and stylish.  Full of inventive production design and a superb central performance from McGowan, this is a dark, violent and bleak film.  The film, is full of scenes of characters eating, but rarely has food been filmed as unappetizing as what is proved to be the source, with all the artifificial elements accentuated and fearful.  Everything about the film screams late 1990s and yet it is still relevant today.

     James Duval, Jonathon Schaech and Rose McGowan are the Doom Generation.

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