MATT ZOLLER SEITZ ON ZACHARY OBERZAN’S ONE-MAN RAMBO RETHINK
I’ve been hearing about Zachary Oberzan’s no-budget unauthorized adaptation of David Morrell’s First Blood (the basis for the Rambo movie series) from one of our writers, Lauren Wissot, for some time. Staged entirely in Oberzan’s apartment and featuring the director in every part, the film was called by Michael Atkinson in the Village Voice as “the best movie of 2010.” And, over at Hammer to Nail, Brandon Harris has praised the film too.
David Cronenberg once said that as long as you have good sound, movie audiences can be compelled to watch anything. Zachary Oberzan’s Flooding With Love For the Kid, a one man, one apartment, one DV camera reinterpretation of David Morrell’s novel First Blood, proves Mr. Cronenberg’s axiom true once and for all. Film is a plastic medium, but it’s always easier to suspend our disbelief if the sets and background have some level of authenticity. Yet in Flooding with Love for the Kid, while we know we are not in a jungle but an economy apartment, Mr. Oberzan’s vision—one that is not entirely camp driven but is sustained by careful performances and framing, inventive use of household approximations for the tools of battle, and, most of all, a gloriously constructed soundtrack—truly transports you in a way that few indie films of any budget do.
The movie is playing now at the Anthology Film Archives, and below, critic Matt Zoller Seitz explains why Oberzan has achieved something that Stallone and company could not.