Richard Kern's "Fingered" (1986) is a film that pushes boundaries and delves into the darker corners of human behavior. This short, part of the Cinema of Transgression movement, is not for the faint of heart or easily offended, as it explores themes of violence, sexuality, and the perverse. After watching "Fingered," I was left feeling disturbed and challenged, a testament to Kern's ability to evoke strong reactions through his transgressive work.
The plot of "Fingered" follows a sadistic telephone worker named Lou and his encounter with a female hitchhiker. Their interaction takes a dark turn as Lou's twisted desires come to the forefront. The film's exploration of power dynamics, human cruelty, and sexual violence is intense and often hard to watch, making it a challenging viewing experience.
The acting in "Fingered" is raw and unflinching. Lydia Lunch and Marty Nation deliver performances that are both unsettling and fearless, fully committing to their roles and the film's provocative content. Their portrayals effectively bring to life the twisted and disturbing world that Kern has created.
Kern's direction is unapologetic and uncompromising, making use of low-budget production techniques to create a gritty and visceral atmosphere. The cinematography adds to the film's sense of unease, with its rough, handheld camera work and unconventional framing. The editing is deliberately jarring, heightening the film's tension and making the viewer feel disoriented and on edge.
"Fingered" is a film that left me feeling shaken and uncomfortable, forcing me to confront and question the darker aspects of human nature. Its exploration of power, violence, and the perverse resonated with me, highlighting the fact that cinema has the power to challenge our perceptions and force us to confront uncomfortable truths. Kern's fearless approach to filmmaking is both commendable and thought-provoking, pushing the limits of what can be explored on screen.
The film's intentionally abrasive sound design adds to the disorienting and distressing atmosphere, making the viewing experience all the more intense. The absence of a traditional score further emphasizes the raw, unfiltered nature of the film, ensuring that the audience remains fully immersed in the world Kern has created.
While "Fingered" is undoubtedly a difficult film to watch, it serves as an important example of the Cinema of Transgression movement, showcasing the power of cinema to challenge societal norms and provoke strong reactions from its audience. It is a film that demands discussion and reflection, and its impact on the viewer is difficult to ignore.
In conclusion, "Fingered" is a deeply unsettling and provocative work that pushes the boundaries of cinema and confronts viewers with the darker aspects of humanity. While not for everyone, it is a film that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on those who dare to venture into its disturbing world.