Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tales of the Rat Fink

Posted on Thu, Oct 26, 2006 at 4:00 AM

Tales of the Rat Fink
Studio: Shout Factory
Rated: NOT RATED
WorkNameSort: Tales of the Rat Fink
It's only fitting that a biopic about hot-rod artist Ed 'Big Daddyâ?� Roth would be as flashy and iconoclastic as its subject. But the goofy visual insanity of Tales of the Rat Fink is surprising nonetheless. The weird, Disney-esque combination of live-action footage, graphic animation, vintage clips and talking cars is the height of irony, as Roth's iconic Rat Fink was a visual poke in the eye of Walt's favorite rodent. But it's also appropriate. The '50s and '60s was an era that, for many Americans, was defined by Disney's hygienic conformity, exactly the thing Roth and his hot-rodding buddies rebelled against. The subculture they created is thick with nostalgia today, but at the time it was progressive and subversive. This innovative film is equally nonconformist in its visual approach, letting Roth's cars (and a disembodied Roth, voiced by John Goodman) tell the story of a man and an era.

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