A 40-year-old man arrives in a mysteriously idyllic city with no memory of having traveled there, only to realize that there is something decidedly sinister about his emotionally sterile new home in director Jens Lien’s surreal, genre-jumping mystery.
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Dry Scandinavian humor with several discreet layers of absurdity and a dash of the surreal. Visually very well made; it is nice to have a film that also uses sound well. If it is a commentary on modern life and its lack of true sensory (and emotional) experiences, or if it is an investigation into life and afterlife, I know not. It is a film that I think Douglas Adams would have enjoyed. Fun and touching.
A fantastic exploration of misplaced ideals, and what we lose when we stop the "pursuit" of happiness. The off-beat tone isn't for everyone, but those willing to delve down the rabbit hole will find many incredible and morbid treasures.
2,5 An almanc of actions without end, The Bothersome Man seems to arise from Agamben’s thought that cinema and painted art are made of gestures more than images. Lien diffuses the "gesture as purely instrumental exhibition" down to the diegetic world: the story revolves around finality without purpose, around gesticulation that grounds its raison d'être in unquestioned/able endurance & mitotic why-less perpetuation.
Quirky and light-hearted one moment, bleak and gruesome the next -- definitely a Scandinavian comedy! It's about the deadening effects of consumerist and corporate culture, as well as the vague and seemingly impossible search for true happiness (whatever that may mean). Humorous yet upsetting.
The world’s corpus is not apocalyptically disregarding, in fact, it is always fidgeting with febricity, yet its secrecy remains unbudged. All of the true tension may be released out of our proximity, or in carillon reverberations that are later carried to noncarneous vicinities. Though in the grand scheme we are all met with the gratuity of fugitivity, our fugues reside in the faveolates of monumental gardens.
(huge spoiler) Just like with Von Trier's The Idiots, and other films (directed by nordic filmakers) that seem to attack/criticize nordic societies, I always have this strange feeling that I did get it, but I truly did not - because I do not identify with it. This is a very gentle dystopia. There is no oppression. They let you leave. Work is not hard, at all. Bureaucracy is soft. But food has no taste. Nordic subtle.
Mysterious newcomer starts a new life in what seems to be the perfect town - until it becomes clear sentiments (and even odors and flavors) are dimmed down. Eerie, visually elegant kafkian fantasy about loneliness (and about the social push towards conformism) shuns away from an openly nightmarish atmosphere and opts for a detached and subtly ironic approach instead - including a couple of unexpected gory moments.