It is moments such as watching Miguel Llansó’s new and extraordinarily titled feature Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway, that I am filled with regret over the fact that I don’t own a small-time pseudo-arthouse cinema. Just thinking of how wild a one night only midnight screening of this film would be is a trip. We could even sell margarita pizzas in the lobby!
It is an impossible task to avoid describing Jesus Shows You the Way without invoking the numerous other art forms that Llansó is clearly aping. There is no film that is truly like this, however, there are enough permutations of say two or three different pieces of art, that one feels as if they could take multiple stabs at describing this film through references to other works. I can assure they will all fail, but it’s a fun game nonetheless. My best attempt is that it’s akin to Don DeLillo writing Flying Lotus’ Kuso, without the blatantly provoked revulsion, and a doubling down on wistful ode to trash art, madcap martial arts experiences, and late-night channel surfing.
Most importantly, Jesus Shows You the Way is deliriously fun. It’s one thing to be incomprehensible for the sake of being incomprehensible. It’s quite another task to be so, and still manage to wink hard enough at your audience that they still find your art charming. There is at least a half a dozen different styles on display, from stop motion to tightly framed and grainy film stock that’s awash in nostalgia. My personal favourite is whenever Llansó is determined to open the frame, specifically one poetic scene in the films middle portion. Here, he throws everything and the kitchen sink at you, and you’ll never be happier to have been struck flush with all of it.
- Release Date: 7/18/2019