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It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Chris Cunningham, the video visionary whose technologically astounding Satanic visions of the modern world get you below the skin like a virus. “Probably one of the reasons I don’t work in the mainstream anymore is that I’m only interested in making the stuff I want to make,” he reflects. “Since I don’t make much money and I’m working on the margins, I’m not going to compromise the work.”
His new short film, Rubber Johnny, the story of a deformed boy left to party in a basement room, is Cunningham working at his dirty, visceral best. The boy, whose anatomy is largely composed of the filmmaker’s genitalia - at least, in the book of photos that comes with the DVD release - has quite a time in the dark cell where he’s locked away from the sensitive eyes of the outside world. Unsurprisingly, the film’s borderline sexual content and accompanying artwork have made it hard for the work to be shown in magazines or on TV.