Jun 8, 2015

Drift (2001)

When I was in middle school and high school, I would oftentimes have these obscenely overweight and disgruntled middle-aged woman teachers with butch bull-dyke haircuts who, probably owing to the fact that they probably hadn’t been fucked in years, if not decades, and seemed quite resentful towards males in general, would brag with a sense of sadistic glee that girls apparently matured at a younger age than boys anytime a male student annoyed them or did something they did not like in class.  Of course, negro children and dogs mature earlier than white kids too, but I digress. To a certain degree, I agree with these fiercely frigid lard ass teachers, as I certainly noticed all throughout high school that girls tended to get into sex and drugs at an earlier age than boys, but of course it is much easier for them to get sex than it is for a young man, who usually has to have something of value, be it social or material, to give to a girl before she will agree to allow him to play stink-finger with her. Indeed, at the same age young men are just attempting to get a little piece of pussy for themselves, young girls are already learning to use their main vein as a weapon against older men, or at least such is the case in the fairly dark drama Drift (2001) aka Adrift aka 100 paarden directed by Dutch filmmaker Michiel van Jaarsveld (Marrakech, Papa’s Tango) and penned by Jacqueline Epskamp, which depicts how a semi-homely 15-year-old teenage dame of the rather white trash sort manages to manipulate and destroy the lives of virtually every man she knows, including her extra loving big brother and best friend's father. Aside from say Dick Maas’ goofy and fairly unserious classic comedy Flodder (1986) and its sequels, van Jaarsveld's particularly potent and fairly unsettling feature-length debut has to feature what is arguably the most dysfunctional white trash family in Dutch cinema history. A rare coming-of-age flick from the perspective of a fairly pernicious little wench who acts like a whore because she is starving for male attention yet at the same time cannot stand the fact that her brother-cum-guardian is always giving her his undivided attention and is quite overprotective of her to the point of being puritanical even though he himself is more or less a lowlife criminal with a somewhat busted moral compass, Drift was made as a part of the highly worthwhile 2001 ‘No More Heroes’ series produced by the production company Motel Films where five different talented young Dutch novice filmmakers were given the opportunity to direct a feature-length film depicting “individuals who consciously turn their backs on society.” As someone who had already watched and thoroughly enjoyed two of the films in the series, including Martin Koolhoven’s AmnesiA (2001) and Lodewijk Crijns’ Met grote blijdschap (2001) aka With Great Joy, I could not help but see van Jaarsveld's cinematic effort, which proved to be no less bleak and dejecting, even though it is quite aesthetically different from the other two films, as it takes a more realistic and almost cinéma vérité-like approach to its material. Set in a sort of Dutch sub-suburban ghetto where the locals look more like degenerate white Americans from the inner-city than Western Europeans and are constantly smoking a joint with one hand while chugging a can of beer with the other, Drift is somewhat like a Larry Clark flick sans the flagrant fetishism for scrawny skater boys and other forms of gratuitous degeneracy. Featuring a malicious teenage whore-in-training anti-heroine whose adult brother acts as her legal guardian and supports the family by bootlegging rancid meat and selling it to sketchy food vendors, van Jaarsveld’s film is ultimately an uniquely unhealthy reminder of the deleterious effects of Americanization on Western European culture, as well as a rare film that depicts how truly dangerous teenage girls can be in terms of their innately conspiratorial and sadistically self-serving ways, especially when they have been brought up in a broken home without a real male role model. 

 Samantha aka ‘Sammy’ (Christel Oomen of Ineke Houtman’s Stille Nacht (2004) in her first acting role) is a 15-year-old girl who is experiencing a sexual awakening of sorts, but her big brother Jakob (played by Dragan Bakema, who is so swarthy due to his Serbian ancestry that he managed to pass as an Arab pimp thug in Lodewijk Crijns’ Loverboy (2003)) is quite overbearing and refuses to allow her to have a beau, as he cannot stomach the thought of another male touching his beloved little sister. Since their estranged mother disappeared long ago and their deranged dipsomaniac father Don (Bert Luppes of Dick Maas’ Sint (2010) aka Saint) is in a mental hospital, Jakob has been Sammy’s sole legal guardian for five years and he makes ends meet by buying large quantities of rancid meat from a local factory and selling it to local street venders at a slightly inflated rate, thus reflecting the warped moral lows he will go to make sure that his little sister is provided for. Each morning before she rides to her high school on a moped, Sammy’s brother puts her hair into a ponytail and makes her a sandwich for lunch, but she throws away said sandwich on the way there, thus reflecting what little she thinks of the sacrifice Jakob has made for her. Sammy’s best friend is a catty and gossipy little blonde bourgeois bitch named Liz (Maud Dolsma) whose mother is a borderline catatonic pill-popping housewife and whose superficially charismatic father Nevill (Hans Hoes) is a somewhat successful and educated fellow who owns a print shop and rents out trailers to vacationing krauts during the summertime. While Sammy has a crush on a dorky poser punk kid named Thijs (Tim Zweije) who wears the same exact t-shirt of the anarcho-punk band Crass every single day, her friend Liz mocks her because of this, so the protagonist decides to keep her romantic options open. 

 Sammy is so starved for any sort of male attention that she gets a big kick out of regularly flashing her terribly tiny mosquito bite-like tits at the exceedingly elderly wheelchair-bound neighbor next door. Naturally, when Sammy’s friend Liz’s sex-starved father Nevill, whose demented wife probably hasn’t put out in years, begins showing her affection and even treats her like an adult, she cannot help but wallow in the dubious attention. One night after driving her home after Liz breaks her moped, Nevill offers Sammy the keys to one of the various trailers that he rents out to German tourists after she complains that her brother gives her no privacy. Of course, Nevill ends up showing up at the mobile-home the same exact night that Sammy first goes there to check things out and the two drink wine together in what ultimately proves to be a pseudo-romantic night of sorts where the middle-aged man hits on the protagonist by telling her that, unlike his ditzy daughter Liz, she acts like an adult. After Nevill complains about his whacked-out wife and discusses how he would like to close his print shop and start a publishing company that prints works by decadent French poets like Baudelaire and Rimbaud, Sammy attempts to seize the opportunity to seduce the older man but, to her major chagrin, he turns her down and tells her she is as beautiful as the “mermaid of Copenhagen” when she asks if he will not screw her because she is ugly. Needless to say, Sammy is in quite for the shock when her big bro Jakob chases her down on his motorcycle while she is riding home on her moped in the middle of the night after leaving the trailer. It is obvious that Jakob is in love with his little sister and, as far as he is concerned, he is the only one that is allowed to pound her puss. When Jakob hears from Liz that Sammy might have been hanging out with Thijs, he decides to go by the high school the next day and beat the shit out of the unsuspecting teenage boy, who receives a rather unflattering black eye as a result of the beating. Naturally, Thijs is afraid to talk to Sammy after that, thus forcing the protagonist to focus more on banging her BFF's dad.  Of course, it is only a matter of time before Jakob realizes that his little sister is carrying on an affair with a reasonably cultivated mensch that is old enough to be their father.  Additionally, like so many woman, be they young or old, Sammy never seems to think twice about the possible repercussions of her actions.  In other words, the anti-heroine never seems to contemplate the fact that she is on the brink of ruining the lives of everyone that she is close to simply because she has daddy issues and is starved of a little bit of male attention.

 While Sammy invites Thijs to show up at the trailer one night for a ‘date’ where she assumedly plans to fuck his brains out, he does not show up due to his assumed fear of Jakob and Nevill predictably ends up swinging by unannounced instead and brings the protagonist a gift in the form of expensive French perfume that his wife also wears, thus hinting that the unhappily married father is desperate for young cuntlet because his crazed cunt of a spouse will no longer attend to her simple wifely duties. While Nevill was afraid to pop Sammy’s cherry the first night they were together in the trailer, he cannot help himself by the second night and wastes no time in diving deep into the teen's twat and breaking nature's privy seal. Indeed, Nevill deflowers Sammy in a sad sex session that last about five seconds. Afterwards, Nevill attempts to delude himself into believing that he was not a pathetic lay by asking Sammy if it hurt and she replies, “No, I felt nothing” adding, “I’m used to it,” thus reflecting the seemingly impenetrable sense of soullessness that she feels. When Sammy’s brother partially loses the use of his legs after crashing his motorcycle while racing after smoking dope and drinking beer with his burned out buddies, the protagonist seems to blame herself, so she calls Nevill and tells him, “I can’t call you anymore,” which the old man does not take well as he has only had a tiny little taste of the teen's cock-chafer and is naturally hungry for more.  While Sammy attempts to take care of her brother by cooking food for him and keeping his rotten meat scheme going, she pretty much fails at both things as she is rather lazy and has a superlatively shitty loser attitude. Indeed, when Sammy ends up burning fish in a frying pan, she decides to throw another pack of frozen fish that is still in the box into the microwave and subsequently serves it to her big bro, who refuses to eat the food upon inspecting it. When Sammy tries to get Jakob to drink wine instead of beer in the hope of creating a ‘romantic atmosphere’ between her and her brother, he does not take the hint that his little sis wants to seduce him and demands that she fetch him his usual cans of piss poor piss-water. When Thijs finally gets the testicular fortitude to talk to Sammy again and decides to follow her around when she is peddling her brother’s rotten meat and finally realizes what she is doing, he complains, “Don’t be stupid. ALL that rancid meat is antisocial,” so the protagonist responds by rudely telling him to leave her sight and calling him a “queer.” 

 With her brother incapacitated due to his leg injury, Sammy decides to seize the opportunity to fulfill Jakob’s greatest sexual fantasy and seduce him, even telling him before they kiss, “You’re the only one.”  Apparently, despite being a loser in his 20s that hangs around even bigger losers, Jakob is still a virgin, which seems to be the result of him being in love with his sister. To demonstrate her ostensible perennial devotion to her brother, Sammy gets the same trashy homemade eagle tattoo that Jakob has. Meanwhile, Liza’s father Nevill begins stalking Sammy to the point where he shows up at her house unannounced and constantly calls her at all times of the day even though she never picks up. When Nevill shows up to Sammy’s house to supposedly pickup his daughter Liz, Jakob begins to realize that his sister and the middle-aged man have something going on, especially after the latter mockingly states to him, “break a leg” in reference to his motorcycle injury. When Sammy decides to show up at the trailer one day, she finds Nevill waiting there for her and he wastes no time in accusing her of having an incestuous relationship with her brother, which she does not deny. When Sammy remarks to Nevill that he is not half as good in bed as her brother, the middle-aged man responds by manhandling her and then quasi-raping her from behind in a cruel carnal act that lasts no longer than a split second. After being bent over and vaginally pillaged by her best friend’s father, Sammy decides to visit her own daddy Don in the mental institution and is quite dismayed when he grabs her ass and kisses her upon mistaking her for his estranged wife. Ultimately, Sammy decides to play along by pretending to be her mother and sadistically lies to her father by telling him that Jakob is in a raunchy relationship with a poor negress who is one of a twelve kids. After telling her father regarding Jakob and his imaginary black girlfriend, “They stuff their faces all day. Jacob is getting very fat…But she doesn’t mind. Love handles,” daddy Don somewhat humorously replies, “As long as she is nice to the children.” When her father stares at a beer advertisement on the wall of his hospital room that features a photo of a sort of otherworldly castle in Tighnabruaich, Scotland, Sammy cruelly says to him, “You won’t be going there.” Ultimately, Sammy is right as her father dies only a day or so later.  Of course, it is vaguely hinted at that Sammy's father died as a result of her giving him a broken heart.

 When Liz realizes that Sammy is wearing the same expensive French perfume that her mother wears, she naturally becomes suspicious that her friend is carrying on a lurid affair with her father, so she gets a group of equally prissy little girls to attack the protagonist and hold her down while mocking the homemade redneck tattoo that she has on her back. Instead of denying what she has done, Sammy tells Liz regarding her daddy, “Your father can’t keep his hands off me. Tell him I’m going to the police if he doesn’t leave me alone” and then the two best friends proceed to brawl like wild animals. When Sammy decides to cook some of the rotten meat that her brother sells on the black market for dinner as a vindictive way to rub his curious choice of trade in his face, Jakob becomes enraged and the two have a monstrous verbal fight. After Jakob tells her that he has wasted his life having to take care of her and that he would have left long ago for America or Australia if it was not for her, Sammy decides to call the government food inspection agency and tip them off about her big brother’s less than savory bootlegging operation. Meanwhile, Jakob learns about Sammy’s affair with Nevill, so he shows up at the middle-aged man’s trailer with his two Neanderthal-like goon friends and more or less beats him to death. When Sammy later shows up at the trailer and finds Jakob’s friend pathetically stealing items off of Nevill’s bloody corpse, she is told, “Never mind. He’s gone.” In the end, Jakob finally decides to leave on his motorcycle and start a new life somewhere else, thus leaving Sammy to fend for herself.  Of course, Sammy has learned that her naughty bits can help her to get what she wants in life, so it probably will not be long until she finds a nice and weak beta-male cuckold to live off of, or if worst comes to worst, she can get knocked up be a negro from Suriname and life off the Dutch government for at least the next 18 years.

 If there ever was a film that savagely demystifies the sexual intrigue of virginal teenage girls and might convince a prospective ephebophile to think twice about getting involved with a busty teen, it is indubitably the borderline emotionally grotesque drama Drift, which features one of the most, if not the most, unflattering depictions of a sexually budding adolescent girl in cinema history. Indeed, aside from possibly Catherine Breillat’s À ma soeur! (2001) aka Fat Girl and to a lesser extent both Stanley Kubrick and Adrian Lyne's Lolita adaptations, I cannot think of a more unsettling depiction of a cunty little girl who is beginning to realize the power of her cunt as a god given weapon that gives her the power to destroy men over twice her age with relative ease. It certainly does not surprise me that, like Fat Girl, Drift was penned by a woman, as men oftentimes romanticize women and especially young girls and do not seem to realize that females operate from a totally different moral system (or lack thereof) where men are seen as a means to an end and nothing more. In comparison to other films in the ‘No More Heroes’ series, Drift is notable in that, unlike Koolhoven’s AmnesiA and Crijns’ With Great Joy, it takes a visceral realist approach to depicting people that have turned their back on society while still technically living in said society whereas the other films take a highly stylized and sometimes surreal approach to portraying people that have physically relocated to strange wooded regions on the outskirts of civilization. Of course, when the protagonist’s brother leaves for good at the end of van Jaarsveld's film, he physically turns his back on society as well. Despite his first feature Drift being a nearly immaculate work that transcends Paul Morrissey's early Warhol-produced Trilogy (Flesh, Trash, Heat) in terms of its seemingly authentic approach to depicting dejecting cultural decay and social dysfunctional, van Jaarsveld (who was only 31 when the film was released) has only had the opportunity to direct shorts, TV movies, and TV episodes since then and has never directed another single feature, thus reflecting the curious nature of the Dutch film industry and the way it treats its most promising artists. Indeed, Drift feels like the result of combining the best attributes of Ken Loach and Larry Clark, albeit set in a Dutch lower-middleclass setting, thereupon making for a highly accessible work that deals with decidedly dark themes yet never degrades the viewer with cheap sensationalism or pathetic poverty porn, even though it deals with perverse themes like incest and cross-generational rape.  Aside from its artistic merits, van Jaarsveld's film is also a fairly insightful work that should be shown to all young male virgins lest they have their lives ruined by an emotionally erratic little slut who turns virtually everything she touches into shit.  Of course, as Drift also seemingly unwittingly reveals, it seems that most men, including middle-aged married fathers who should know better, seem to suffer a sort of temporary lobotomy when the prospect of a fresh and untapped underage pussy pops into their mind.

-Ty E


Debbie Rochon said...

"Temporary lobotomy" ?, shouldn`t that be "completely normal sexual urges" being experienced in "THE TIME OF LIES, HYPOCRISY AND SEXUAL REPRESSION" ! ! !.

Tony Brubaker said...

Ty E, wouldn`t it have been hilarious (and true of course) if on the picture of the old geezer looking out the window at the bird showing her tits you`d put a caption with old geezer saying: "I desperately want to fuck and bugger and sodomize that beautiful gorgeous sexy young girl" ! ! !.

Tony Brubaker said...

Ken Loach is an appalling film-maker, all his films are totally unwatchable, just like all British films and film-makers obviously.

Tony Brubaker said...

I wish Adrian Lyne had been born an American, if he had been he might`ve been a truly great film-maker. When you`re British you`re ALWAYS rubbish by definition ! ! !.

Tony Brubaker said...

3-1, a great start, i want to bugger Hope Solo.