LIST CANDIDATE: THE BOTHERSOME MAN (2006)

Den Brysomme Mannen

DIRECTED BY: Jens Lien

FEATURING: Trond Fausa, Petronella Barker, Per Schaanning

PLOT: Andreas Ramsfjell awakens after a suicide attempt to find himself in a seemingly perfect city where he is equipped with the perfect life. Unfortunately for Andreas, it doesn’t take long to discover that something is very much amiss.

Still from The Bothersome Man

WHY IT MIGHT MAKE THE LIST: The Bothersome Man is a masterpiece beyond its weirdness. It’s a film even the normal crew should watch and enjoy. It’s rich with astute and pointed social commentary on our materialistic society and the importance people place on conformity over freedom in life. Not to mention that it’s devilishly funny!

COMMENTS: Many regular readers of the site must have experienced at least once in their life the curious befuddlement of a friend or colleague asking them why they like something different from general tastes. But that’s so weird, they might say. Or, my personal favorite: but surely you prefer [insert the more popular choice here]? The Bothersome Man tackles this ideal as a political, social and religious allegory.

Everything initially seems perfect in the city where Andreas wakes after his suicide. He is given a great job with plenty of start-up capital. He meets a beautiful woman with whom he quickly forms a relationship. Everything is wonderful. And then, the cracks start to show, in a Kafkaesque fashion. His increasing unease leads him to seek out others who might rebel, who wish to get away by any means necessary, be it suicide or more surreptitious means. It’s hard to escape the machine, though; without giving too much away, the pie eating scene, in this sense, is one of the best moments of the film.

The Bothersome Man‘s strong, tight script is well-paced over its 95 minutes. Muted color is used well, presented in such a way as the viewer doesn’t realize it as such until it’s important enough to do so. Jens Lien’s film is an accomplished piece of cinema which, particularly given its haunting and ominous conclusion, is a strong contender for inclusion on the List.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“A surreal nightmare of gleaming surfaces and razor-sharp edges…”-Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times (contemporaneous)

(This movie was nominated for review by Tristano, who said it can be “compared to works like Brave New World or Roy Anderssons two last movies.”  Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)

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