''A collection of films that paint with light, colors, and camera movement. No order. Some of these films may…
The Bothersome Man
Forty-year-old Andreas arrives in a strange city with no memory of how he got there. He is presented with a job, an apartment - even a wife. But before long, Andreas notices that something is wrong. Andreas makes an attempt to escape the city, but he discovers there's no way out. Andreas meets Hugo, who has found a crack in a wall in his cellar. Beautiful music streams out from the crack. Maybe it leads to "the other side"? A new plan for escape is hatched.
I love dystopian films. I love them even more when I don't know that they are going to be dystopian films.
With something of a nod and a wink towards the likes of Brazil and even Nothing Lasts Forever, The Bothersome Man is a Norwegian blackly comic fantasy about a man who is taken to a mysterious town and doesn't quite understand the bland yet happy and strangely unaware existence that the townsfolk lead.
This is a world that seems to be strangely lacking in colour from the moment he is dropped outside the town, at a strangely isolated petrol station, by…
A quite wonderful discovery thanks to an unplanned detour to my local library. The Bothersome Man is a satire of modern consumerism and obsession with appearances, a surreal comedy and utopia gone wrong, a fable about daring to be different, an original tale of what may even be the afterlife yet still manages to recall Jeunet et Caro, Gilliam, Andersson and Wenders, even more specifically at times I was thinking of The Truman Show, The Matrix and Wristcutters. Beautifully framed using an unassuming palette of greys and blues and filled with wonderfully strange moments that more often than not will have you laughing out loud, I can't think why I'd never heard of this one before.
A kind of Orwellian nightmare for the IKEA set, an existential scream (or quiet yelp) against a superficially ‘perfect’ existence. I loved this, the dry Norwegian black humour (and creepy vein of surrealism) suiting my taste down to a tee. It also helps that the film is gorgeously shot and designed, with the sleek, spotless city photographed (ironically?) in loving detail – reminiscent of ‘The Truman Show’ in that sense. In the lead, Trond Fausa Aurvag has the same bemused look throughout, but his one-note performance gives the film its humour, as he quietly rallies against the vacuous paradise he is seemingly forced into. There is perhaps little to analyse here (individualism is good!), but as a quirky-dark comedy-horror I enjoyed it immensely.
The easiest comparison to The Bothersome Man I can make is Fight Club without Tyler Durden and a dash of Being John Malkovich thrown in for good measure. Nowhere near as pervasively cynical as those two films, Norway's The Bothersome Man also benefits from a protagonist (Andreas, played by an impressive Trond Fausa Aurvåg) who is actually sympathetic for a majority of the film, if the story does drag him into sad-sackitude just a little too often. As a satire on the mundanity of everyday life, it can get very heavy-handed, but the dashes of fantasy keep it from being overwhelmingly morose. I thought the opening scene was a very clever use of misdirection, and while making everything after its…
In the world of The Bothersome Man, everything is done dutifully. Working, eating, having sex, loving, everything has an emotionless neatness to it. Our hero, however, doesn't fit in. He remembers things from a previous existence from another world, another life. He does not know how he got where he is, nor does he seem to remember why he is there. Or why he doesn't seem to be able to die for that matter.
This weird universe we are shown works as a wonderfully sharp satire on our everyday preoccupations. The people that inhabit Andreas' hell only concern themselves with material needs and are robot like in their emotions. What really works in this film is that we get some…
What an excellent film, Jens Lien directs this black comedy-mystery-drama with aplomb. Andreas arrives in a strange city where everyone seems content, happy and get everything they want, but is it all too good to be true? The people here are unworried, but everything seems mundane. There's no excitement, and something is definitely off. This is is highlighted brilliantly by Lien and cinematographer John Christian Rosenlund, who drain all the colour from the camera to create this grotesque grey palette that the whole film is bathed in. There's also some great stylistic choices to highlight the lack of anything interesting in the city. There's no music, not a child to be found (though some may call that a blessing), nothing…
This film will haunt you. Dark comedy at its most ethereal. "The Bothersome Man" belongs in the great league of brooding surrealism with films like "Pi," "Requiem for a Dream," "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind," "Donnie Darko," and friends. Given its bizarrely passive -yet crushing fearful- attitude toward mortality, this film in particular is very much in the spirit of a Camus novel.
"The Bothersome Man" is a Norwegian film about a guy who moves to a new town and does not fit in. To that extent it's a highly-relatable film. The fun begins when we start to interpret what the hell it all means. Everyone is passive and docile. There's no pain, no laughter, no sting in the…
This film seems more relevant today than when I watched it back in 2007.
This is a very anti-conformist film which deals with philosophies that have been discussed about in ways other this one here. Breaking out and finding your true calling is something that is told to us by most religions, classics etc but none have been as ticklish as this and this is works far better mainly because of its wry humour.
I might come back to this sooner again and I am curious what I will find the next time.
This movie attempts to explore if a perfect world where all your comfort needs are met, but at the price of having no passion is indeed worth living. Is it Heaven, is it Hell... or is it just Scandinavia? Beautifully shot with a couple of harrowing moments, it will make you think without noticing.
Beautifully shot, puposefully slow film with numerous things to be taken from it. With room for interpretation this film is a piece of art which puts the quizzical mind to task.
Set in a world where things are simply not quite right, Andreas is on task to make sense of his world.
At times a beautiful parody on out wield while raising some bigger philosophical questions. All the while putting your sense of self in the spotlight.
This sort of hurt to watch.
Amazing movie about why one might not want a perfect life.
I know it's really lazy to just dismiss every "dark" movie with "wow edgy," but that's really what my opinion comes down to about this movie.
I mean, the entire premise is "everything is super monotone but nobody seems to notice." And of course, the titular Bothersome Man tries to escape this monotone hell. It makes for an extremely boring movie, and "it's meant to be boring" doesn't cut it as an excuse. There's no interesting insights or thoughts left to ponder over or any huge emotional impact. It's a big boring mess of a movie that feels undecided about what it's even about.
Calmly absurd satire with a stream of consciousness silliness to it. I can't quite put my finger on why it feels too mundane - is it just the color scheme and the dry acting? - but I wish it was funnier and/or more depressing.
It does make great use of the automatic hilarity of watching people kiss with their eyes open.
Jens Liens' The Bothersome Man is the first Norwegian film I've ever seen. I enjoyed it immensely. Yes, I'm happy for me, too.
Andreas, the bothersome man in question, has just been deposited in an immaculate gray city and assigned a job, an apartment, and yawned his way into a relationship with a lovely young woman. He isn't completely sure how he got there but he mostly rolls with it. Everyone turns out to be unfailingly agreeable and he's invited into a circle of friends, which in this world is nothing more or less than an intense, endless roundtable about the minutiae of interior design. Everything is nice, and that's where it stops.
Like a lot of similarly tranquil dystopias,…
So, fellow letterboxders... please add suggestions! :-)
It's worth mentioning perhaps, that not all of these are to be considered…
A running list of dystopian films. Specifically near and far-future dystopias (as opposed to non-fiction present day or historical-dystopias).