Hard to Be a God
If nothing else, Hard to Be a God will almost certainly lay claim to the title of 2015’s most disgusting cinematic experience. The world we see during the film’s three hours is grimy, shitstained, festering and noisome (we can almost smell the screen); the sets are typically smeared with a combination of mud and something less pleasant, and the soundtrack is a near-constant parade of belches, squeals, and tormented yells marked by uneasy silence. The camera inches through claustrophobic spaces, an array of obstructions (various meats, dead animals) hanging from the ceiling. Then, of course, there are the disembowelments and beheadings. This might not be the most alluring sales pitch, but thankfully Hard to Be a God can be regarded as much more than just a vile horror show, a miserable wallow in human awfulness; there is existential mystery and aesthetic wonder beside the repugnance.
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