A great film and an important one. One that creates a fine blend of beauty, ugliness, horror, pitch-black comedy and embittered social-commentary into a rich cinematic goulash. An extraordinary work of art. That being said, I'll be damned if I'll sit through it again. It made me sick enough the first time...
@QueerPorto2 Experimental... that's for sure. 3 stories that don't really make a cohesive group among them. Even if the "sexual leprosy" in the Horror segment serves as a metaphor for AIDS, the queer theme is still not represented or representative of an attitude or point-of-view. The Hero segment ended pretty much has it begun. The Homo segment is the most captivating one, but too simplistic. 1 star for each story.
Hard to believe this rough and radical filmmaker would become one of our most polished romantics! A film with ideas better than its execution, 'Homo' was the tale that connected strongest, a challenging piece that pales having watched 'Querelle' some weeks ago. Otherwise the homages don't stand in isolation like say 'Far From Heaven' does. I'm not sad Haynes pursued more narrative based films.
A whole that's no more than the sum of its parts, which themselves are of varying quality... A bit graceless. Concept-heavy; the too-rigid outlines allowing only formulaic, heavy-handed filling in. Moments of aesthetic/symbolic beauty end up stifled, subjugated to the plan, rather than propelling the film in an organic, fluid way. More relevant to the history of queer cinema specifically than to the history of film.
A triptych of abstract queer cinema with narratives connected through themes of alienation, disgrace, and shame. Each allegory calls towards the experience of being queer; Haynes likens the alienation of a young boy, the restraint of a victimized male, and the monstrosity of a self-denying doctor to comment on the general malaise of societal judgment and abuse of those deemed 'different'. 84/100 - Great
There are some moments in this film that are a little much but all in all this is a great debut film for Todd Haynes. Three interwoven stories that each take on their own form are brilliantly intertwined by Haynes. Haynes is a director that knows exactly what he wants and how he needs to get it.
I'm not sure if its delirious whole quite measures up to the sum of its parts, but there is a lot to think about and enjoy here in Todd Hayne's surreal anthology film. I can't say that I cared very much for the prison storyline, but his documentarian and 60s horror sections were very engaging and the actual transitions between each story flowed near seamlessly for the majority of its running-time.
I wanted so much to rate this higher, just as I wanted to enjoy it more than I did. One story is much more interesting than the rest. Thematically strong and with things to say, it just falls short at the hurdle marked: 'storytelling'. It juggles three different forms without mastering any of them, and all the characters find themselves short shrifted by the end.
A true masterpiece of progressive queer cinema. This bold debut blends cinematic formalism and a fearless sense of identity. Beyond the sexual overtones, Todd Haynes divides the harsh realities of living in a homophobic society into three separate, but equally powerful episodes. I was especially transfixed by the "mockumentary" portion.
While Poison's subject matter are not nearly as transgressive or controversial as they were at the films reception, its unique and intentionally vintage styling, and Haynes wonderful execution, is interesting to the eyes, and remains compelling. The interweaving of its three short stories is done just as deftly. Fascinating, would certainly watch again.
Todd Haynes' debut feature is certainly an ambitious little film, even if not all of it necessarily lands. It is more than clear why it made such an impact in 1991 and why it changed the landscape of film. Sometimes, however, historical significance is not always enough of a connection, and Poison kept me at a distance.