DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read David Graham's film review of Rubber

This disc includes wonderful animated menus; 48 seconds of digital camera tests of the mobile tyre; a theatrical trailer; and brief, separate interviews with the actors Stephen Spinella (four minutes), Jack Plotnick (seven minutes) and Roxane Mesquida (three minutes).

Spinella (Lt Chad) discusses how three universes (the film, the film-within-the-film, and the viewer's reality) are made to merge in what he describes as "a strongly naturalistic absurd comedy". Plotnick ('the accountant') agrees that everything in the film "feels very real and yet incredibly absurd", describes writer/director Quentin Dupieux as "a master of framing", and reveals that turkeys (one of which served in a prominent scene as his co-star) may "taste really good but they smell really bad". Mesquida (Sheila) suggests that the tyre is attracted to her character because they are both deeply angry, and speaks of the magic that Dupieux brings to the set.

Copy picture

Unquestionably, though, the highlight on this disc is the eight-minute interview with Dupieux himself, which absurdly exposes the artifice of DVD extras in much the same way that Dupieux's feature satirises the arbitrary conventions of Hollywood cinema. From the start, Dupieux insists on taking over the direction of the Q&A himself. Cutaway shots reveal his interviewer, Didier, to be a besuited sex doll - as artificial as, if more vocal than, Rubber's titular protagonist. The interview itself is subtitled, but not because, as Dupieux suggests in an aside, he is speaking in his native French, but rather because his entire address to camera, including the sound, is being played backwards.

We learn that the film took a month to write and fourteen days to shoot. "The challenge", says Dupieux, "was to give life to the deadest object you can think of. I love WALL·E, for example – but he was an anthropomorphic presence. I wanted something more primitive, with no eyes, no mouth, or arms – then I wanted to stay physical, I didn't want a computer-generated tyre." The interview ends with Dupieux declaring, "Done. Let's save some film" – hopefully for his next project...

Reviewed on: 27 May 2011
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Rubber packshot
Rubber is just an ordinary tyre, but one day he develops intelligence and telekinetic powers. Horrified by what he discovers about the fate of other tyres, he sets out on an implacable quest for revenge.
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Product Code: OPTD2002

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1

Extras: Interview with Quentin Dupieux, interview with Stephen Spinella, interview with Jack Plotnick, interview with Roxane Mesquida, first camera tests, trailer

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