At the 2006 Independent Spirit Awards comedian Sarah Silverman said this: “The Academy Awards honor the biggest directors and superstar actors while this show is the champion of struggling artists like Ang Lee and George Clooney.”
That’s right. In case you missed it, Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, and even Crash, the 2006 Best Picture winner, with their big-name directors and all-stars casts were all technically independent productions.
First of all, I am, in no way, complaining about Hollywood and its involvement with independent filmmaking (How else would some films be distributed?). However, I often find myself questioning the validity of the “independent” film. Because quite frankly, how independent can any product be when George Clooney is associated with it?
But then a movie like Body/Antibody, screened only at independent film festivals, comes along and reminds cynics like me what truly non-mainstream Hollywood filmmaking is.
In Body/Antibody, writer-director Kerry Douglas Dye creates a unique world filled with quirky character, constant plot twists and inappropriate yet hysterical humor.
Kip Polyard (played by Robert Gomes) lives the ideal life in a stress-free and germ-free six bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He also hasn’t left his apartment in ten months.
You see, Kip is an obsessive compulsive who showers at least five times a day, pickles his own vegetables to avoid supermarkets, and washes his clothes in his bathtub. But Kip’s perfect lifestyle is turned upside down when Celine (Leslie Kendall) moves in next door.
One night, Celine invites herself into Kip’s apartment, proceeds to spread her germs on his pristine furniture, and yet somehow they end up falling in love. Celine then takes it upon herself to cure Kip of his OCD. But their unconventional romance is challenged when Celine’s boyfriend Andy (Frank Deal) comes into the picture and tortures Kip in the most gruesome manner possible.
At this point Body/Antibody, which began as a cute love story between two quirky people, throws any conventional story out the window and every anticipated plot element simply doesn’t occur. By the film’s fast-paced, shocking, gory, and atypical conclusion (which is not fun if you’re squeamish), Body/Antibody has taken so many unexpected turns that reality itself becomes blurred.
As a dark comedy, Body/Antibody utilizes perverse and suggestive dialogue at the most inappropriate times. You will find yourself laughing during some of the most grotesque scenes a film can have, questioning your own morals, and then laughing hysterically during the next hilarious moment.
Body/Antibody is easily the darkest, kinkiest, and funniest film I’ve seen in months. The characters are about as deranged and quirky as they come. After all, the two main characters are an obsessive compulsive living in a created world and a dangerous woman who is trapped by the world.
Yet I loved Body/Antibody for its oddly wonderful moments that are equally inappropriate and tender. The fact that Kip and Celine, these two incredibly loony characters, can somehow be together and maybe even stay together questions so much about human behavior and our own reality.
But most importantly, to me Body/Antibody is the perfect example of an indie film made right and the fact that Hollywood is not associated with this film (yet), allows it to better than it already is.
Published: November 8, 2007
Mount Holyoke News
Updated October 20, 2010