Ex Drummer [2007] • Belgium

The dialog in the film is so quick-witted sometimes I could barely keep up with the subtitles. It's dark and nihilistic and spares nothing in its onslaught. It's offensive, very funny at times, punk and truly bizarre. There's a subtle structural game going on as well that's all but lost amidst the barrage of hate and humor. Based on the semi-autobiographical cult novel by controversial Belgian writer Herman Brusselmans, Ex Dummer tells the story of Dries, a famous writer living the good life with his beautiful wife in their beautiful apartment, who is approached one day by three losers who want him to join their band as the drummer. He accepts the invitation as an opportunity for source material. As the film unfolds Dries is sometimes seen as reporting on the events that he experiences and at other times he seems to be inventing them. It's not important to the film one way or the other and appears to be just one of innumerable filmic techniques employed by the director of this punk stew.

Each member of the band must have a handicap. The singer has a lisp and lives on the ceiling of his apartment. The lisp was lost on me as I don't speak the language, but it is apparently so bad it's reached the level of a handicap. The bass player has a debilitating mother complex, keeps his father in a straight jacket strapped to a bed in his attic, and he's got a stiff right arm. The guitar player is deaf and addicted to crack. The drummer's handicap is that he can't play drums ... but he's writing the story so he lies about it.

The band is only going to play one gig, a battle of the bands, and then breakup. There isn't much of a story to follow. We're simply treated to the machinations of this motley crew as they prepare for the concert and their lives crumble around them. The soundtrack is magnificent and the acting is all spot on. If you like punk, real punk without eyeliner, you should see this.


No comments:

Post a Comment