Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Artless Saturation

The Doors
1991. 138 minutes. USA. Directed by Oliver Stone. Watchdate: 3/27/2012.
Oliver Stone makes these lurid, charmless fever dreams that pretentiously shove a bunch of half-baked ideas down your throat in the most over the top way imaginable. Yet in some cases I'll defend his work, especially when he recklessly somersaults so far overboard it's impossible to believe he's trying to be taken seriously.

Platoon, Talk Radio, and Wall Street all seem to aspire to lucidity and respectability and thus end up being boring trash even if there are a couple worthwhile elements in each. But The Doors, Natural Born Killers and particularly the highly underrated Nixon are so wild, twitchy and crass they might qualify as a hazy sort of pop surrealism. They are almost like madhouse ravings of a hobo with too big a budget to spend and too much message to polemicize.

However, there's something to be said for too much madness. At times they can actually be engaging and compelling, but at the very least they are always entertainingly daft. The Doors is satanic, orgiastic…it's alternately too dumb and too clever, and it brims with a sort of witless audacity that I find hard to reject entirely. And really the subject matter is perfect for Oliver Stone's style, since who are The Doors if not the Oliver Stone of late sixties psychedelic rock?

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