After its presence at the Fantasy Filmfest 2019 comes the midnight film BLISS also go to the cinema regularly. And that is not at all self-evident. We reveal what we mean by that and what it has to offer in our review.
Visually, “Bliss” is a real surprise.
The plot summary
Dezzy (Dora Madison Burge) is a freelance artist and a party-loving rocker chick – and she is in a creative crisis. She hasn’t finished a picture in months, which is why her manager is breathing down her neck. Alone while intoxicated, she is at least making progress with her work – so she decides to show everyone and complete her latest work in a final spurt. How lucky that her dealer buddy Hadrian (Graham Skipper) is currently offering a new, extra-hard coke blend called Diabolo, which promises a mixture of all the effects of every known drug. But Dezzy has no restraint, and so it doesn’t take long until she completely throws Hadrian’s well-intentioned advice about how to dose Diabolo overboard. Just as quickly, her memory of last night fades away. But she doesn’t care at all: the picture moves forward, Dezzy feels like a different person; Something inside her brings her to a previously foreign form of ecstasy. As a result, she goes out partying more and more often, the trips get harder and harder, as do the hallucinations. And every morning her painting is one step closer to completion. But the question arises: Is she the one who continues to paint the painting, or is there much more to it?
Bliss (2019) Movie Meaning of ending
Drugs, sex, graphic violence, loud metal music and paintings: “Bliss” is undoubtedly a film that only wants to appeal to a small, specific audience. But Joe Begos’ proud, self-confident niche project is so purposeful and consistently implemented that you wish “Bliss” would somehow become a cult favorite over the coming years and build up a larger fan base. Equal parts psychological thriller, demonic horror and artfully obsessed drama about the exhausting effects of the creative process, “Bliss” is a snotty, dirty, rough and yet stylishly polished trip that rests on several pillars.
Dora Madison plays the main character in “Bliss.”
There is the leading actress Dora Madison, who already starred in Terence Malick’s experimental musical romance “Song to Song” . Madison plays the main character of “Bliss” as if Andie MacDowell from “Sex, Lies and Video” had not entered the 1990s through romantic cinema, but had joined the grunge movement after a few liters of vodka energy : With big, enigmatic eyes, a snotty 90s underground art scene attitude and a self-confident, unobtrusive sensuality, Dezzy stalks through parties, allows herself to be seduced (or lets others believe that they are seducing her, even though she is the seductress), really goes for it and then literally pukes out her ideas and feelings on the screen. Madison’s approach to Dezzy gives “Bliss” an underlying tension, as it is not clear from her acting how much Dezzy is a victim of drugs, whether something more evil is taking over her, or whether everything is fine in the film world of “Bliss”. The dark sights on the screen are purely metaphorical and nothing happens to Dezzy. In this way, Begos and Madison create a gripping mystery.
Speaking of metaphors: the unleashed violence with which “Bliss” tells of the artistic creative process and the struggle against inner blockages is another pillar on which this film experience is based. And the third pillar is the aesthetic implementation of this: As if the Nicolas Cage vehicle “Mandy” and “The Beautiful Troublemaker” had a child that they raised with metal, “Bliss” beats its audience through skillfully and violently clashing styles. As much as Dezzy seems to come from a wet counter-culture dream of the 1990s, the massive, haptic peaks of violence can be attributed to the horror B-cinema of the 1980s and the hazy clashes of less neon colors in which many scenes are immersed are a modern, contemporary one Habit of today’s young, wild films. The loudly booming trip into a dark (or eclipsing?) artist’s soul is captured on grainy, spongy Super 16 film material that offers spongy contrast. Cameraman Mike Testin moves the camera around as if we were inside Dezzy’s hungover head, and editor Josh Ethier lets scenes merge into one another in a nasty, confusing way. “Bliss” forms into a cinematic, extra loud escalation of naked skin, blood, hallucinations and rough aesthetics until it just pops.
Conclusion: Loud, dirty, hazy, colorful, hard and evil: Joe Begos’ fantasy film festival highlight and genre bastard “Bliss” is artful trash. Or sinful art.
“Bliss” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from February 20th.