Director: de HeerReview
a really fun, offbeat, surprising picture. it’s starts off as a very dark, very grim picture complete with incest, creepy sets, cat torture and the like. the story is about 35 year old bubby who has lived in his mother’s dingy apartment his entire life. she’s abusive and concocts a story that it’s impossible to go outside the front door without a gas mask. clearly it’s a fucked up set of circumstances for bubby. without going too much into the plot, bubby leaves the apartment and meets many colorful characters along the way. once he leaves the apartment the tone of the picture is much more on the humorous side. because bubby’s life experience is so limited he often regurgitates things he’s heard earlier in the film in response to a new experience. it makes for a funny effect and a possible commentary on the derivative nature of existence for all of us.
the film was a cult classic in norway and australia, but is basically unknown elsewhere. it’s one of those films that has some potentially offensive elements and those elements are blown out of proportion and that kills small films like this. for people willing to give it a chance, though, i think it’s a fairly rewarding picture. one of the more interesting technical elements of the film is the sound design which is completely relative to bubby. using binaural microphones placed on nicholas hope’s (bubby) head the sound mixers were able to get a mix that was completely subjective. rather than mixing in several tracks, they had only one track with all the ambient elements and voice tracks included. it’s a pretty interesting system because as bubby turns his head the sound mix spins with him so it places you with him in a way that few films do. the film also used a different cinematographer for each new scene/set. despite this the film doesn’t seem to vary too radically visually. what it does do, though, is give each scene a slightly different look which makes sense since, for bubby, every new scene is a new experience.
it’s not a film for the squeamish, but it’s not a “henry: portrait of a serial killer” type of movie either. yes the imagery can be intense, but it’s got such a different tone to it that those images don’t have the same impact that they might in a different context. cult classic.