A TALE AS OLD AS GRIME
Bliss is a blood-soaked genre cocktail: The Transfiguration infused with Climax’s unhinged phantasmagoria and the grindhouse madness of Maniac.
Narratively, the movie is spartan, an 80-minute Argento blur, but it’s effective as surreal sensory overload. Bliss takes some time before fully tipping into insanity, but once it does, the fallout earns Bliss a place among the gore-drenched indie works of Fargeat, Tjahjanto, and Cosmatos.
Hallucination or horror, it’s all the same nightmare for Dezzy. Dora Madison’s performance rides the line between fiery naturalistic attitude and wide-eyed delirium reminiscent of Isabelle Adjani in Possession. Artistic passion and drug-fueled self-destruction melts the screen in Bliss’ frenetic orgy of blood, grime, and grungy punk aesthetic.
Joe Begos paints a sordid hollywood tale from an eclectic palette of grime, scuzz, sweat, blood and tears. It's a violent, deliriously frantic indulgence in drug fueled viscera, and a wholely unapologetic exercise in style over substance. Not to say that Begos only delivers on aesthetic; there's also the narrative framework of a very familiar story to structure the whole thing; one which centers on themes prominently found in Abel Ferrara's own work — namely addiction, and the pressure to perform creatively at the behest of detached stakeholders. But Bliss is first and foremost an onslaught of sensorial jubilation. A 90 minute punk-fueled masturbatory session for the eyes and ears only ever disrupted by it's juvenile script. Had that aspect been given the same care and treatment as the rest of the film, Bliss would be perfect.
It'll have to settle for close to, in my eyes.
Holy FUCKING shit. This very well could be my movie of the year. Mandy, Devil’s Candy, and The Transfiguration thrown into a DMT laced Begos blender. Fuck me up, suck me dry, hail Lilith and all of that.