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Todd Haynes Talks Creation And Legacy Of Debut Feature 'Poison'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • November 14, 2010 3:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Almost 20 years later, Todd Haynes's debut feature is still a sucker punch to the gut. Erratic and experimental, playful and dark, IFC is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a week long exhibition of a new 35mm print at their theater in New York City. Probably the strangest (and strongest) first impression to give to the film world, "Poison" follows three interwoven stories, done in completely different styles to best illustrate the issue at hand. "Hero" is an extremely 90s faux TV documentary consisting of talking head townsfolk, the subject being the recent murder of a man by his son, who flew away after the crime. "Horror," a B-movie drive-in done in black and white, follows a scientist who accidentally ingests his "elixir of human sexuality," which deforms his face and causes him to kill. The last is "Homo," which chronicles the budding relationship between two prison inmates in a muddy, dark style directly representative not just of the setting, but of the inner workings of each character and their disparate relationship. It's definitely the oddest Haynes has ever been - and this is keeping in mind the fact that his next film would be a tense thriller in which a housewife is allergic to her materialistic and empty middle-class existence. Last Thursday the filmmaker swung by one of the screenings in NYC to share a few words with the audience and express gratitude for people still interested in his early work.

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