Film #237: AMER
3.5 out of 5 stars
A 'just 'cuz' rewatch! Imagine… if Mario Bava & Dario Argento made a fetish film. If you can wrap your head around that, then AMER is for you. Visually stunning, it’s attention to detail is almost obsessive with TIGHT close-ups on, well… just about everything: eyes, lips, beads of sweat, eyes, curves of anatomy, eyes, skin, hair, eyes… Did I mention eyes? Yeah, the filmmakers LOVE close-ups of eyes. Comparisons to “giallo” are being made about this film and, except for the last reel, I’m not so sure they’re fair. Yes, there is a pulsating, Goblin-esque musical score. Yes, there is a black gloved killer. Yes, there is some brutal slashing going on in that aforementioned last reel. But at its heart, AMER is a fetish film. Shot in hyper-real detail, the film savors every moment in a manner that is too OCD to not be sexual. In an odd way, AMER kind of reminded me of Philip Mond’s 1995 hardcore film, ZAZEL (which any fan of fetish/XXX films should see). In the end, AMER is a brilliantly shot film that deserves being seen. However (and you knew this was coming), as a story, the film is slow, meandering, far too expressionistic for its own good, and, well… kinda boring. Once you get over the “eye candy” element of the film, the story itself is almost tedious - an interesting tedious (as weird as that sounds), but still kind of unexceptional. Since this is filmmaker’s, Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani, first real film, one hopes their next one will be able to retain its visual flair and yet be able to come up with a more interesting narrative.