Other Stuff

If you like what you see, click the buttons and let the world know!


« #123. Sucker Punch - Review | Main | #121. Throne of Blood - Analysis »

#122. Clean, Shaven - Review

Saying you “like” or “dislike” a film like Clean, Shaven (1993) really doesn’t matter, at least in the “thumbs-up” RottenTomatoes idea of like or dislike. This is not a film that wants to entertain; in fact, director Lodge Kerrigan might be a little disturbed if he caught you gleefully smiling during a screening. No, Clean, Shaven, is not fun. I cannot even say it is entertaining, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. The film would be hard to recommend to anyone that doesn’t enjoy boundary pushing avant-garde cinema. Or has a weak stomach. Or a weak mind. Or is easily bored.

For those of you that are still here, Clean, Shaven is a deeply despondent film that wears its low-budget indie heart on its sleeve. Not so much concerned with polish and grace, Kerrigan instead is hell-bent on convincingly portraying the impossible: Schizophrenia. Told in sporadic jolts of narrative seizures, Clean, Shaven excellently walks the fine line of coherent storytelling and bewildering machinations. The movie is about Peter Winter (Peter Greene), a schizophrenic who was just released from, or perhaps escaped, a mental institution with the goal of finding his young daughter who was just put up for adoption by his mother. Constantly battling a rage of paranoid and delusional impulses, Winter must exhaustively contend with his own ruptured psyche, forced to appease a cruel and twisted warden that has taken control of his mind. Believing there is a radio transmitter underneath his fingernail sending signals to his brain, Kerrigan doesn’t shy away from showing the extent to which Winter will go to appease the voices in his head.

Winter is the quintessential unreliable narrator, and Kerrigan takes advantage of his medium’s strengths to craft a story that is confounding without ever being overwhelming. The film’s sound design is done so well insanity seems understandable. With voices coming out of the radio, hisses from power lines, laughter from out of the darkness, it easy to sympathize with Winter’s plight. However Kerrigan’s editing and sound design at times come off as being overly produced. Concerned with presenting a believable reality inside the head of a mad man, some of the more spasmodically edited sequences are more distracting than persuading. His effort is as obvious as his intention.

Peter Greene as Winter gives a career defining performance here. His energy and dedication matches that of the director, and his portrayal is delicate and impossibly convincing, respectably avoiding what could have been an insulting aping of stereotypical twitches and eccentricities.

 This is not a film for everyone, and perhaps more to the point it is a film for a very few. Following in the footsteps of the seminal Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) and paving the way for future experimental films like Lars Von Trier’s Anti-Christ (2009) and Giorgos Lanthimos’ excellent Dogtooth (2010). Horrifyingly conceived with a superb performance by Peter Greene, Clean, Shaven offers a specific type variety of cinematic experience that few will enjoy, but all should appreciate. 


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (6)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: alcoholism detox
    click here for top quality info alcoholism treatment around
  • Response
    go here for greatest information on forever recovery available
  • Response
    Response: que es el seo
    click here for greatest posicionamiento anywhere
  • Response
    get top quality experto en seo around
  • Response
    Response: Frank Dellaglio
    #122. Clean, Shaven - Review - Home - Controller Unplugged
  • Response
    Response: Frank Dellaglio
    #122. Clean, Shaven - Review - Home - Controller Unplugged

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.