Saturday, November 11, 2006


Looks like yet another Jesus movie - Mel, what hast thou wrought? Definitely the strangest of the new batch, from Lukas Moodysson, whose LILYA 4-EVER was an overwhelmingly despairing film about a young woman who fled to the big city and ended up a prostitute: some Christians found the angel bits to be glorious light in the darkness, but most found them unconvincing, not nearly enough to counterbalance the film's bleak-beyond-bleakness.

Anyway, the director describes this work in progress as "a black and white silent movie with sound... A woman in a man's body. A man in a woman's body. Jesus in Mary's stomach. The water breaks. It floods into me. I can't close the lid. My heart is full."

Well. English is his second language.

I'll keep you posted.


Nov 21 update

Sight & Sound coverage gives not the slightest nod in the direction of Moodysson's "Jesus in Mary's stomach" reference, so either Lucas was being something other than literal there (not outside the realm of possibility), or they missed it (not outside the realm of possibility, either).
If Bergman's PERSONA is solid art-house 'canon fodder,' it contains passages that could easily have been clipped from the contemporary avant-garde. by abandoning narrative altogether, Moodysson has travelled still further toward the gallery film. CONTAINER's 74-minute runtime feels arbitrary: you could walk in at any point and get the gist of the thing. For all that, it shares with PERSONA the central theme of the fragmented self in a violent, godless world.

...avivion of personal misery and social and environmental breakdown that makes the hellish tenements of LILYA 4-EVER (2002) look like the salubrious Stockholm suburb in TOGETHER (2000).

...For most of the film Lorentzon acts out various poses of despair: falling over himself in his apartment, half-heartedly attending an orgy, and sticking a model foetus to his face. ... The foetus-model, various flash-montages of religious iconography, and the possibility that Lorentzon is in the hospital for a sex-change operation, together with running references to dilation on the soundtrac, add up to a slightly obscure discourse on rebirth or regression. ...


The images and soundtrack in CONTAINER are formally separate: there is no diegetic sound, and the voiceover, which comprises the entire soundtrack until the closing minutes, when it's accompanied by an electronic drone, bears no direct relation to the action on screen. The image track follows a dejected occasional transvestite, sometimes accompanied by a young woman, through a number of locations in an unnamed city, a landfill site and a seemingly deserted hospital. The soundtrack is a continuous off-screen monologue by someone who may or may not be the American actress Jena (Donnie Darko) Malone.

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