Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Inhuman State Of Perfection

Den brysomme mannen (The Bothersome Man) (2006) directed by Jens Lein

Wow. I was impressed and surprised by this, it's easy to compare it to "Groundhog Day", "Wristcutters", "The Trial", and other films of Purgatories, but each time I thought I had it nailed down, it slipped out of grasp.Also I don't think its even about a man in an afterlife, it's an allegory sure, and the beginning does lead you to believe that, but if you watch carefully, later scenes contradict it. There is no mention of anything before the city, and no mention of the absence of memory, there is no mention of allot of things. This isn't the after-life, it's just life, missing something. A man watches a couple kissing intensely it seems, till he glances again a little closer and sees they're not making eye contact, you can hear their tongues in each others mouths but their faces are blank. He jumps in front of a train. Cut to a desert, where a lone bus pulls toward a gas station where an old man erects a "welcome" banner. The man you see on the cover steps out, covered in dust, and gets into a car, which drives him through a green pasture and into a grey city, he is told what his job will be, where he will live, they give him money, and later he even gets a girlfriend. She is an interior designer, and spends much of her time, watching TV screens, which look like still photographs of the living room she sits in.
Everyone is causal, everyone is pleasant, he can even have affairs, he can have the women all to himself if he wants. He can have whatever he wants. Which begins to take its tole.
One days self mutilations disappear the next mourning, as one mysterious man says from behind a bathroom door, "Beer, pussy, food, everything looses it's flavor. I cant taste anything. I spend all my money on booze but I never get drunk".
Life seems endless, until Andreas here's strange music coming from a basement, and goes to investigate.
Visually it looks very similar a Roy Anderson film.But instead of vignettes you get one extended narrative, with minimal dialogue.
Great cinematography, set design, and music, help out too. The train sequence left my jaw on the floor, and I suppose Andreas as well, though the end could have been stronger. All and all it was like a Norwegian Twilight Zone episode by way of Kafka. Stronger and more eerie for it's simplicity. It's whats not said that counts.

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