Even before its international premiere at Fantasia, "Rondo" was creating mumblings among reviewers who had seen it in the screening room. At the debut, the normally raucous Friday night crowd was uncharacteristically quiet. Then "Rondo" unleashed its singular form of magic. I was very impressed at not only its vitality, violence, and humor, but also its incredible audacity. The director, Drew Barnhardt, started this project with the intention of making, without compromise, the movie he wanted to make. He succeeded spectacularly.<br/><br/>Stylistically, much of Rondo works like Peter Greenaway at his most "ZOO"-ily formalistic. Scenes are designed more like paintings than real life. That's not to say that the action is missing, but more that Barnhardt knows what he wants us to look at, and goes to great lengths to make us do so. The candy-noir of Dennis Hopper's paintings springs up again and again. Then there's the story itself. "Rondo" doesn't so much have narrative twists as narrative convulsions. Ultimately, the finale is the one that we necessarily had to reach, but the path there is like having our arm twisted behind our back (but, paradoxically, pleasantly so). In "Rondo", baroque verbiage and baroque violence come together in a celebration of blood-sodden deadpan.<br/><br/>-GDE
A kinky sex proposition devolves into a chain of murder, sex, revenge. And more murder.
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