Friday, July 19, 2019

Fantasia 2019: Black Magic For White Boys

The oeuvre of Onur Tukel is an acquired taste -- his movies are low-rent and abrasive and even though I can't stand the term "politically incorrect" because people who brand themselves it always seem like they want a gold star for their smugness, he definitely fits the bill. He spins and wallows in black humor about race and sex and such and so forth, and he's always thrusting his own big sweaty bearded whining self in there as the biggest meanest crassest one of all. 

Watching his films -- like his hipster vampire evisceration Summer of Blood (reviewed here), and his bloody paranoid relationship dramedy Applesauce (reviewed here), and most recently his surreal dalliance with name actresses and slapping called Catfight that starred Anne Heche and Sandra Oh (reviewed here), I always feel like there's somebody out there who must be getting pissed off at this stuff. Right? They all play like episodes of Seinfeld meets The Twlight Zone directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis -- surely there's an Iowan somewhere aghast at this nonsense. But I think those thoughts while I'm laughing my big ass off, despite myself and besides human decency. Tukel is totally exasperating, but I'm pretty sure at this point I am endeared. I'm a fan. It's in the stars.

His latest slapdash crime against respectability is called Black Magic For White Boys (man that's a terrific title), which has his typical cast of neurotic New York assholes confronted by a French magician (sure why not) who can make people disappear, really disappear. Naturally all anybody in this city can immediately think of is real estate -- it's the gentrification tool of a developer's dreams! And also there's lots of abortion? Sure, abortion. Tukel gleefully smashes his meaty paws on every hot button he can get them to, and dear reader, I laughed. I laughed so very hard. And I hope this weirdo keeps making movies that feel this much like home, this cramped funny and obscene city that I love, forever.

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