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Bumblefuck, USA
Bumblefuck, USA (2011)
  • Director:
    Aaron Douglas Johnston,Sam de Jong
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Aaron Douglas Johnston,Cat Smits
  • Cast:
    Ryan Gourley,Ryan Overton,Heidi M. Sallows
  • Time:
    1h 31min
  • Year:
Distraught by the suicide of her gay friend Matt, Alexa travels from Amsterdam to her dead friend's small American town, hoping to uncover the reasons that led Matt to take his own life. She arrives with a backpack, her video camera and intentions to make a film about what it must be like to be gay in Bumblefuck, USA. At the end of her hot summer weeks in Bumblefuck, she's made a new special friend, clashed with others, and ultimately discovered more about herself than she could ever have imagined.
Credited cast:
Ryan Gourley Ryan Gourley - Justin
Ryan Overton Ryan Overton
Heidi M. Sallows Heidi M. Sallows - Jennifer
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith
Cat Smits Cat Smits - Alexa
John Watkins John Watkins - Lukas

Bumblefuck, USA (2011)
This was a weired little film. It's so un-American yet that's what it is. BUT - the writer and also the lead role - is definitely Dutch. That explains the European feeling that caught me. Cat Smits give a beautiful treatment of her character. She should she wrote her !! There is very little music in it - mostly organic like in bars and the car - with some additional acoustic guitar solo. It works very well. This film is not your round of the mill lesbian story and better for it. I saw it twice to be sure how I felt about it, and I do. It has an element of education in it also, but it never gets cheesy - mostly I find "movies with a mission" a pest - but found that this one blended it all just great. To make sure that I convey my sentiments regarding this film: I don't know if I loved it, but I liked it fine. Great acting all around by the 4 actors. See it !!
what a fine movie and captivatingly simple story! from the very start of this movie i was hooked on the adventure of Alexa and her interactions with the people she meets in that odd Iowa town.

her relationship with her landlord is 'trying' at best. Her landlord is a loner and withdrawn. Alexa is the total opposite. Jennifer 'the artist' comes across as butch but is actually focused and vulnerable. and the cemetery guy is just a creep. Alexa finds her way through this mix via her documentary & bicycle and learns more about herself than the original reason for going to Bumblefuck!

deliciously photographed and it's ability to create atmosphere is wonderful. watch this movie - enjoy this movie! it's not the usual cinema one gets in the US.
I was incredibly impressed with this movie. One of the most original LGBT themed film I've seen in a long time. The simplicity of the story telling and its naturalistic approach allows the complexity of the underlying issues to be continually pervasive. Everything about this movie feels real, allowing the viewer a rare opportunity sit on the sidelines, like an actual participant.

In fact, it's so real I question whether much of it is informed by actual emotion experienced on-camera, and genuine connectedness for the actors. It has the air of reality that takes a film into another realm altogether. One that is slightly uncomfortable, and yet intoxicating.

I wanted to be in the junk yard searching for shiny things. I felt like I was with these characters at every juncture. The script, and the performances, were impeccable. In particular I was astonished to discover that this was Heidi M Sallows' first appearance on film. Though she is not completely new to acting in itself, her performance was stand-out in my opinion.

The dialogue is so natural, I must be forgiven for thinking there may have been a lot of leeway for the actors. And if so, this was not only well-judged, but well-executed.

This film is touching, truthful, at times gritty, and incredibly romantic, in the most ordinary, and therefore accessible of ways. And the ending, though leaving you smiling, is not clichéd. Another rarity.

Gentle in many ways, evenly paced, and beautifully shot it may be, but the thing that I enjoyed most about this film, is the manner in which it deals with major issues without judgement, or guidance. Not merely the obvious issues of homosexuality and suicide (the film is dedicated specifically in this vein), but also the broader senses of love and desire, and the many levels of intimacy in between, brought under intense but careful scrutiny.

I found sympathy for every major character, despite my dislike of some of their actions. That is always very hard to achieve. Life is strange and fascinating, dangerous and compelling, and this movie drags you into an understanding of what that can sometimes mean.
There is very little information here on this film so here is a bit of a summary.

Alexa (Smits) is a naive but direct girl, in the Scandinavian tradition (blonde, attractive, matter-of-fact in relation to sex). She flies from Amsterdam to a small town in Iowa (Bumblefuck is apparently slang for the middle of nowhere), the home of a friend (the extent of their relationship is never made clear), Matthew, who committed suicide after coming out as gay.

The film is interspersed with Alexa's interviews of gay men and women talking about such subjects as their first kisses, coming out and suicide attempts.

Along the way Alexa has casual and unsatisfactory sex with a guy she meets in a cemetery, before falling for a gay artist, Jennifer (Heidi M. Sallows) and tantalises her lonely landlord, Lucas (John Watkins).

I must admit to liking this film. Some of the sentiments in the interviews were a little mawkish for my taste but the story rang true and it is worth watching just for the introduction to Cat Smits.
I really don't know what this film is supposed to be about, but whatever it is, it doesn't work. We have a weird Dutch girl about whom we know nothing, blagging her way round some American town and using people for her own gratification with no regard for anybody's feelings except her own. The film is punctuated with pointless interviews, the meaning of which is a mystery because they just show people talking about 'feelings' and other vague stuff too boring to mention.

Frankly the Alexa character is one of the most shallow and obnoxious I've seen. She is greedy and selfish and blatantly using people, yet (the actor has a writing credit, surprise surprise) she is portrayed through flattering camera and lighting work as some sort of heavenly body. It's all too twisted and pretentious, and it's impossible to sympathize with the character for any misfortune that befalls her.

This may appeal to immature arty types who spend too much time thinking and not enough doing, but it has no place in mainstream cinema.
I don't have much to add. The previous two reviews and the movie summary got most of it. Except for the implied "clashes" -- that's an understatement! I need to say that there's an attempted rape scene. It's pretty awful to watch for its realism. It doesn't appear to reach penetration stage, but otherwise it feels accurate. Mostly, I was bored. The landlord character is creepy. The cemetery guy is a pretty typical Bro character, I think. The lesbian love interest is done very well. The interviews are both like a documentary and reminiscent of When Harry Met Sally. The camera work is done well. And Cat Smits is mesmerizing! I just wish there had been some sort of retributive act against the rapist. It did remind me of the statistic that most rapes are by people you know. Ugh, it brought of memories of when I was in a shared home. That sucked!