Mark Romanek must be constipated. Because there’s something inside him that needs to be released. And if he doesn’t do something about it, the pain will never go away.
Romanek isn’t withholding something that stinks. He’s withholding possibly the greatest cult film of the 1980s.
* on CULT FICTION
When watching the VHS, Johnny Chronic stumbled into the room. All hungover and bleary-eyed, he sat down as the opening credits played. 90 minutes later, he proclaimed to have added Romanek’s debut feature to his official list of favourite films.
(Admittedly, he likens True Blood to Shakespeare, but the man shouldn’t be denied such an astute observation in this instance.)
You might think One Hour Photo was Romanek’s first feature. And given that he’s disowned Static – the film he made 17 years earlier – you can be forgiven. His reasons can be found here. Keith Gordon (who co-wrote Static) elaborates more on the situation in an interview with The Projection Booth.
Release it, Mark. Release it…
What’s Static about, you say? Ernie Blick (Keith Gordon) has been a recluse for two years. And he’s just been fired from the local crucifix factory. The townsfolk have no idea of what he’s been doing all that time. They don’t know whether to think he’s a genius or just not all there. Ernie claims he’s been working on an invention – a device that will “change the way people think about themselves and their lives”.
Excited that his device is finally ready, Ernie throws a party for those closest to him. And he unveils it…
Watch Static to find out what that device actually is and how his audience receives him.
“I’ve done something monumental. And I need people to see it. Doesn’t that make sense?”
– Ernie Blick –
By straining, clenching and holding in Static, Romanek is denying Ernie Blick’s very wish for validation and ultimately making other people happy. He’s also obstructing the world from meeting Ernie’s ex-green beret, evangelist, street preaching cousin, Frank – Bob Gunton’s coolest performance.
The third victim of Static’s enduring condemnation in obscurity is one of the best soundtracks out there. Ernie frequents an antiquated diner with a jukebox that caters to a small town living in the past – playing Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and George Jones. Whereas Japan, Brian Eno and OMD supply the fresher tones of promise, contemporary to 1985 – the year the film was made.
PARALLEL MADNESS wonders what it will take for Mark Romanek to give Static the proper release it deserves. Hijacking a bus may do it.
TIME TO POOP OR GET OFF THE POT.