STILL FLOWIN THE MOVIE
Australia, 2013, Raed Melki
Still Flowin The Movie fictionalises Raed’s real-life misadventures with Michael Gudinski – Australia’s best known A&R executive. By misadventures I mean stalking, orchestrating a bomb hoax at Crown Casino and being admitted to a psychiatric institution.
The film opens with the titles “this is a r.a.e.2themotherfucken..D prodject” and “THIS IS A TRUE STORY” as one of Raed’s aural assaults plays, daring me to hit stop before images even appear. Fortunately, I didn’t. If I did I would have missed the best baffling 125 minutes of my life. Ie: Raed’s rags to rags journey to supposed stardom.
As Raed contemplates his daily dose of rejection letters, the Michael Gudinski character (Antonios Baxevanidis) has a hilariously stilted discussion with his record company underlings. He is frightened by Raed (who isn’t?) and Raed’s continual rap-mumble messages he leaves on their answering machine. Apparently Raed “knows too much” and is a “sexy freak”. Therefore he must be stopped.
Cut to a policeman at Raed’s doorstep giving Raed an intervention order from Gudinskli/Wudinskli/Madinski or the 15 or so variations the cop calls the Gudinski character. Partway through this demented exchange, Raed appears to have forgotten that it’s a reenactment and looks to camera as if to say, “Why is there a camera filming me?”
Proving Raed’s talent is entirely misunderstood, and not that he is completely void of it, a Sydney record company discover Raed’s YouTube hits. It turns out they have also received rapping phone messages from Raed. The record company boss forgets how to use the internet and a phone, he instead sends a trio of record agents (that’s what they’re called in the film) to Melbourne to find “this Raedy guy.” The record agents spend most of the movie roaming Melbourne, asking people and horses if they know Raed.
Meanwhile Gudinskli/Wudinski/Madinski has received more threats from Raed. After watching Raed’s bizarre Crown Casino bomb hoax footage, he decides Raed must die. Apparently Raed’s time in a psychiatric institution has made him stronger than before. Hence, they hire the world’s worst hitman (Brian Gore) for $600,000. It would have been a heap cheaper to give Raed a record deal.
There are so many amazing moments in Still Flowin I couldn’t possibly mention them all. Here are a few of my favourites:
– Raed threatens his promoter and his promoter’s pals in order to get a gig.
– Raed interacts with the world’s worst R2-D2 impersonator.
– Raed makes every woman he raps at fall in love with him.
– Raed gets bullied while having lunch with his girlfriend and leaves his girlfriend to fend for herself.
– Raed goes on a spiritual journey, finds two indigenous guys and looks to the stars and sees “a fucked system.”
– Raed chats with a priest about the devil being a “tranny.”
– Raed tortures a man with Tic Tacs.
Also, Raed takes a break from the film to read the script before smashing some shit up.
The film concludes with Raed tricking his way into Gudinskli/Wudinskli/Madinski’s home and confusing Gudinskli/Wudinskli/Madinski until he leaves Raed alone. The Sydney record company agents finally track down Raed in time to witness his hip-hop performance of a lifetime. The hitman turns up at the gig and becomes dazzled by Raed’s indecipherable rapping, to such an extent he chooses not to kill Raed. What a beautiful message.
Juxtaposed with his misguided bravado and misinterpretations of reality, Raed addresses his delusions and alludes to his questionable musical skills. In a way, it is admirable.
Still Flowin is crippled with inept sound production, a squashed aspect ratio (the version I paid for anyway), sporadic flashes of purple (I couldn’t tell if they were editing errors or a representation of Raed’s mind), and goofs he chose to leave in (eg: Raed looks to the boom mic that appears in shot). Regardless, I was completely mesmerised. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Especially when Raed becomes King of Australia.
OK, maybe that didn’t happen.
Still Flowin is insanity at its very best. Raed even puts his bank details on screen. Twice. This is the type of film best enjoyed in the company of friends. Or enemies. I regretted watching this by myself. Here are some mind-boggling promos to whet your appetite:
And this clown clip that has little to do with the film:
All I can say is, thank you, Raed. Thank you.