The feature debut movie of the now famous Todd Haynes (Safe, Carol, Velvet Goldmine). When Haynes made this project he was still an obscure filmmaker mostly known only in the gay community. But when an American Senator named Jessie Helms publicly attacked the film it made the headlines and the flick was suddenly catapulted into art house cinemas and even won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Poison was inspired by the transgressive writings of the French author Jean Genet, who was both a criminal and a poet. The narrative structure is quite experimental, reflecting the wildness in Haynes’ later biopic about Bob Dylan I’m not There. So instead of having a single storyline, it has three narrative paths… ‘Hero,’ ‘Horror’ and ‘Homo’, and each is depicted in a different style – color, black & white, and documentary. For example, ‘Horror’ is modelled after an old-fashioned sci-fi melodrama from the 50s, and is about a scientist who is able to distill the human sex-drive into a single fluid. When things go out of control it unleashes a sexual plague across mankind, a clear reference to the aids epidemic.
The imagery is dynamic and bold, the music score is great, and the end result is absolutely unique. But this is a film for people who want to explore, rather than have a comfortable viewing. For example, it doesn’t make it easy for the audience to know how to react to many scenes. It can shift from moments of intense beauty to visceral queasiness… almost to a dizzying degree. It can be both enchanting and provocative. This is a small indie gem that is almost forgotten today, but which still packs a punch after all these years. […Lees verder]