Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Oregonian (2011)

The Oregonian should neither be written off as experimental garbage or make any top ten lists for the year. It's pretty interesting, original and extremely creepy, but it also has a tendency to wander aimlessly just like its main character.

The nameless main character played by Lindsey Pulsipher awakens after a car accident. She has blood pouring down her face and she doesn't remember anything. She starts walking and walking and does some more walking. She runs into a few people. No one speaks and everybody wears the color red and has disturbing smiles on their faces. Occasionally there are scenes that seem to be from her life before the accident, but no one can really be sure.

This is the first film from Calvin Lee Reeder. His direction is extremely ambitious. I read an article where he was compared to Buñuel. This movie has a look and feel that seems right out of the 70's. The story reminds of the dreamlike quality of Eraserhead and the long scenes of walking and driving invoke The Brown Bunny, which also had a very distinctive 70's look to it. 

The Oregonian is short. Thank goodness. It runs about 80 minutes. It's pretty gross and will leave you with a sort of empty feeling. Again, not because it's bad, it's not, it's just very strange and at times terrifying. Other times it gets really silly. Along with the startling visuals, the soundtrack works extremely well. It's mostly electric guitar that has a Sonic Youth sound to it. 

Overall, this movie is a challenge. But it has to be seen to be believed. No review can possibly describe what this film holds. After the Twilight series, it's nice to have some real horror and art coming out of the Pacific Northwest. 

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