Running Time: 1hr 45min
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Directed by: Flying Lotus
Written by: David Firth/Flying Lotus
Review by: Mike
We Need To Talk About Kuso: A Review...Sort Of
There has been an earthquake and it isn't pretty. Strange things are afoot. Surfacing in the aftershocks are all the potentialities of our dystopic present. This is Kuso. And we need to talk about it. I'm not going to lie to you, but neither am I going to tell you the truth. After witnessing this film, I admit, I can't be honest, and to be honest, I don't think you can either. So, let's find a dark corner and chat. I promise nothing here is real. It's only a film.
Except Kuso isn't a film. It's Japanese for "shit" and shit is as good of a description as any. This shit is an experience. It is an assault. It is an attack on your senses and your sensibilities. It is the murder of your subconscious. It is the rebirth of your dirty little id. It is you, you nasty fucker, in all your disturbed glory. Why would you watch this (and we both know you're going to, dear reader)? What the fuck is wrong with you?
There are two questions I hate to be asked: "what is wrong with you?" and "Are you alright?" The answers have always been, "I don't know" and "maybe?" respectively. They are the questions my mother has asked most consistently over the course of my life. As a result, I ask everyone. At this point, I have a strong urge to ask Steve, the director of Kuso, the very same questions (probably in the same tone as my mother). I think I would probably get similar answers or worse answers or no answers at all. Maybe there are no answers. But still... wtf, Steve? I'm not sure I'm equipped to handle this shit.
For those of you that don't already know, Steve has an alias. His alter ego is DJ/producer/musician extraordinaire Flying Lotus. And, if you are aware of the work of FL, this shit might make a bit more sense.
(Before we go any further, stop what you're doing and go listen to FL' s 2014 release "You're Dead!" I'll wait.)
Kuso is a lot like Steve's work as Flying Lotus: dark, jerky, offensive, assaultive. It exists on the outer rim of the modern avant garde. Kuso isn't representative of a "critical utopia in an increasingly dystopic moment" (Red Wedge Magazine). It is a near future nightmare firmly rooted in the extreme alienation and arbitrary violence of our late capitalist America. Here oral sex with a talking boil is the cement in an apocalyptic relationship. A shrimp like bug living in the asshole of a "doctor" cures phobias. The coat hanger is the official take home prescription for unwanted pregnancy. Interdimensional, weed obsessed alien house mates meet out "justice" on a date rapist. An incontinent schoolboy makes a validating discovery in the strangely enchanted woods. A woman falls after her baby through a hole that leads to hell. These vignettes form the topography of a world shaken by a cataclysmic earthquake and they are stitched together by a series of animated/musical interludes that are equally unsettling.
I realize I have beat around the bush. I warned you I couldn't be completely honest about any of this. It isn't my fault. If you want to know the truth, its your fault. You're the sick fucker that's actually going to watch this shit. What's wrong with you? I don't have the answer to that but, before I make my way out into the South Texas heat, I'm going to leave you with some tips. If I were you, I would pay attention (but we both know you won't).
1. DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM! (I couldn't possibly be more emphatic here!)
2. WATCH THIS FILM.
3. Keep your eyes closed at all times (if you open them, I'll know)
4. Wear gloves.
5. Wear clothes (no one wants to see your bloated ass naked, especially you).
6. If you encounter a talking boil do not put your dick in or around it.
7. Tell your mom you're sorry (she didn't raise you to watch trash like this).
8. Avoid eating for the duration of the film.
9. Be sober.
10. Let the credits roll (patience is the hallmark of maturity).
Well, that's it gang. I can't say I enjoyed our time together, you knuckle dragging animals. Enjoy!