May 1, 2013
Although he managed to survive through the desperation of the Second World War, my grandfather left his homeland of the Netherlands for America during the 1950s and about a decade later he paid a visit to his ancestral land, only to be thoroughly disgusted by how the country drastically degenerated into a culturally vacant vacation spot for Americans and other foreign libertines. That being said, who knows how my grandfather would have responded to South African auteur Aryan Kaganof’s film Wasted! (1996) aka Naar de Klote!—a wanton work of digital video libertinage depicting the decidedly degenerate 'gabber' rave scene in Amsterdam and the parasitic people who flood it with drugs, most specifically ecstasy. The first filmmaker to ever shoot a feature-length work on a mere cell phone with his potent pimp flick SMS Sugar Man (2008), Kaganof (who was still going by his birth name 'Ian Kerkhof' at the time) achieved a similarly revolutionary work with his earlier film Wasted!—the very first film (or digital video ‘non-film’) to be shot on mini DV (but later blown up to 35mm film print), which ultimately made for the perfect medium for a work about spastic Dutch drug addicts and ravers with retarded dance moves in a reckless realm of moral morons, pathological materialism, and sheer and utter aesthetic vulgarity of the rainbow colored sort directed by an artistic renegade from the rainbow nation. A neo-neorealist flick for the ADD-riddled and dumb-downed digital age, Wasted! wastes no time in depicting a hysterical hurricane of senseless sex, drugs, and raving 'n' roofies as a socially deleterious dead end street of hapless Hollanders addicted to hyper hedonism of the less than gratifying sort that ruins lives and relationships, but never fills the inner void that inspires one to get involved with drugs and joyless sex in the first place. Of course, Wasted! is no prissy public service announcement nor a pedantic piece of plastic p.c. sermonizing, but a uniquely unflattering and unhinged digital work featuring a putrid potpourri of pompous euro-wiggers, ostensibly retarded revue raver whores with drag queen make-up, megalomaniacal middle-aged DJs suffering from Peter Pan syndrome, and ungrateful grownup beta-boys who are supported by their philandering, drug-dealing girlfriends, and other quasi-brain philistines who seem to be at the pre-party for the Occidental apocalypse. Set during the mid-1990s at the peak of the Dutch “gabber” (aka “early hardcore”) electronic music movement and featuring related music by groups like De Euromasters (whose song “Alles naar de Klote” aka “Everythin Wasted!” the film is named after), Party Animals, Flamman & Abraxas, and Deepzone, Wasted! would go on to be the biggest Dutch box office hit of 1996, thus illustrating the anti-culture degeneracy that has overtaken the Dutch in terms of the pseudo-Dionysian raver scene and its infectious influence of flying Dutchmen . Indeed, Wasted! is just another example of of why Americans immediately think of prostitutes and potheads whenever the Netherlands, or more specifically Amsterdam, are mentioned, except Kaganof takes things further with effeminized cuckolds, XTC-dealing breadwinner broads, wacked-out white gangstas, and pill-popping teenage pranksters. Featuring a kaleidoscopic raver rainbow of kitschy 1990s imagery that is often blurred and from a frenzied first-person perspective, Wasted!—for better or worse—will have you decidedly drunken with deadbeat Dutch debauchery from its static beginning to its seizure-inducing end.
Jacqueline (Fem van der Elzen) is surrounded by weak and rather wasted males, including her boyfriend Martijn (Tygo Gernandt), who she financially supports, and her deadbeat drinking and driving alcoholic father, who needs to be bailed out of jail, so she must take things into her own hands and her meager store clerk job as a peddler of magic mushrooms and concert tickets is just not cutting it, so she decides to become an ecstasy dealer, which she seems to think is a good way to get rich quick, even if it comes at the price of her womanhood, personal dignity, romantic relationship, and virtually everything else in her life that has true intrinsic value. Jacqueline becomes a low level dealer for a Dutch wigger with a rather ridiculous Vanilla Ice-esque sideburns named JP (Hugo Metsers), a malicious and seemingly psychopathic would-be-gangster who wastes no time in trying to, quite literally, penetrate his female pusher. Of course, Jacqueline’s less than ballsy boy toy Martijn suspects that the brazen jerk-off JP wants to get in his girlfriend's pants, especially after she begins spending a lot of time with the dickheaded drug dealer. Although Jacqueline initially rejects JP’s conditional offer for her to be one of his pushers after he tells her that “standing in a shop is for wogs,” she inevitably gives in, where she begins to makes tons of cash by selling 50 pills a week, which sells gets half the commission for. Naturally, when he is not watering his pot plant with beer or smashing beer cans against his head like a impotent hippie caveman, Martijn accuses Jacqueline of cheating on him with JP, which she inevitably does. When Martijn moves out of their shared apartment to live with a soulless slut who firmly believes “foreplay's for pensioners…shove it in,” Jacqueline reacts rather hysterically by nonsensically flushing her ecstasy supply down the toilet. With neither the money nor drugs, Jacqueline ultimately gets in trouble with JP, whose slavish black assistant states of, “shit man, that white bitch. Let me redecorate her white face man, really,” which has no effect on the drug-dealing, counterfeit black man. Luckily, JP has a bigger fish to fry in the form of a black rave club owner/houseparty host named Winston (Mike Libanon), who owes him a ton of money and will not answer his phone. Meanwhile, an aged DJ named Cowboy (played by popular Dutch actor Thom Hoffman of Lars von Trier’s Dogville (2003) and Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book (2006)) makes the near fatal mistake of hooking up with a ho named DD (Afke Reijenga) and offering her and a friend named Yoyo (Jorinde Moll) a one-off opportunity to DJ at the hottest rave club, which proves to have a disastrous effect on his career and life-renewing results for the little lecherous ladies, whose new-found popularity is solely the result of their sleazy and rather dubious sex appeal. Martjin also gets the grand beatdown of a lifetime by JP and his paper gangster goons, not long after the braggart of a drug dealer mentions his sexual conquests with Jacqueline. When finally confronting deadbeat Winston with weapons, the scared club owner pleas, “This is the real world, man…Not a Tarantino movie.” In the end, a raver houseparty concludes with a dead club owner, a has-been DJ passed out in a gutter, a tacky red sports car turned into a piece of junkyard scrap by a bunch of “wasted” soccer hooligans and ravers, and proof that love ultimately conquers all, at least for now. What the two lascivious love birds of Wasted! learn during their ill-fated fling in the raver realm is that mindless self-indulgence of the sexual and mind-altering sort has a very short expiration date before it starts to rot the body and soul, or as director Aryan Kaganof himself once stated in an interview, “My films are cultural criticisms in the shape of commercial films. If a youth once experiences XTC, he’ll end up in speed. What I wanted to say in the film was that the first XTC is the best of all, but the last speed is the worst.”
In many ways a revolutionary and (anti)cinematically subversive work, Wasted! went on to inspire Argentinean auteur Gaspar Noé, who has referenced Kaganof’s flick in the past and its influence is quite apparent in the filmmaker's neo-psychedelic epic Enter the Void (2009)—an experimental first-person perspective feature about a DMT-addled American drug dealer whose forsaken soul floats around a hypnotically colorful kaleidoscopic Tokyo, Japan after he is killed as a result of his treacherous friend ratting him out to the police. And, indeed, Wasted! is, quite thankfully, “not a Tarantino movie” as it is not a preposterous piece of masturbatory postmodern fanboy posturing, but a penetrating piece of neo-realist surrealism that manages to transfer the viewer to the decadent Dutch rave world without having to suffer from a hangover and some sort of pesky STD. As director Kaganof once stated himself regarding Wasted!, ”see my film and you don’t need drugs…,” which hopefully will be the case for most viewers after witnessing the would-be-charismatic conmen and dimwitted druggy dumbasses that make up the characters, but something tells me that these things would appeal to a good percentage of audiences. With Wasted!, Kaganof fit in a couple political messages, especially in a scene featuring a Nelson Mandela painting owned by Winston, which symbolically has a safe behind it that hides the character’s ‘cash money.’ Indeed, while Marxist messiah Mandela argued for a Commie Utopia of sorts with South Africa, his ‘revolution’ was a rather soft one and now, as recently reported by the South African online news resource News24, the ex-terrorist turned sentimental SA president’s children and grandchildren are currently active in over 110 companies and are raking in the millions, which is a far cry for the classless society their prestigious patriarch incessantly sermonized about. Additionally, it should be noted that JP’s gangbanger buddy is nothing but an Uncle Tom, who despite stating racially charged verbal vomit against whites in front of his racially Aryan boss, ultimately takes orders from his wigger commander who gets to pretend to be black while retaining the airs of an audaciously arrogant white capitalist, even using words like "nigger" and killing a fellow black brother in front of his subservient African employee. Quite inexplicably, the “gabber” music scene portrayed in Kaganof’s film would sire a neo-fascist subculture despite the fact that many of the DJs are non-white, which might explain why a bunch of skinheaded gentlemen destroy jack-off JP’s swag-mobile and beat both him and his nefarious Negro friend at the conclusion of Wasted!. Undoubtedly, as a man who felt Elvis Presley was a degenerate (or so he told my grandmother due to her affinity for the King's music), my grandfather—who hated Germans (like most Dutch people do) because of the Second World War—would have probably wished his nation was permanently taken over by the Third Reich rather than seeing it become the modern Nordic Sodom and Gomorrah it is today as portrayed in Wasted!; a work that even transcends the subversive films of assassinated auteur Theo van Gogh (Blind Date, 06/05) in terms of its uncompromising and daunting portrayal of contemporary Dutch debauchery and the self-prophesying suicide of the Occident.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 8:50 PM
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