Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Plug for Lukas Moodysson

Antonia's post on Rammstein ("wunderbar amerika") reminded me of the Swedish film Lilja 4-Ever which has "Mein Herz Brennt," a song composed and performed by the same band, as one of its main theme songs. Youtube has the complete song with video clippings from the film. The words of the song are based on some German lullaby meant for children. Translated lyrics here. (You may not want to see the whole video because it is quite long and reveals many details of the story.)

I don't want to write much about it, just say that it is extremely painful to watch. I particularly remember one scene towards the end which is so blatantly and outrageously sentimental and manipulative, but it is the absolute power of Moodysson's direction and painfully honest performance by the young Russian actress that you just can't dismiss it, even though it feels like the film itself is daring you to do so. That Rammstein song acquires new and painful meaning at the film's end. Anyway, just a few link to some reviews. Guardian calls it "A dark masterpiece: a vivisectional experiment in horror and despair" and village voice proclaims it to be "the season's most piercingly feel-bad movie." (Scroll down for the review.) An unusually serious Anthony Lane in the new yorker waxes lyrical and is also very good. Really worth reading even if you haven't seen the film. It also contains a scene which is a kind-of homage to Robert Bresson's brutal masterpiece Mouchette, with which it actually shares a lot, even though Bresson's is as usual much more austere and stately.

Incidentally youtube also has the entire video of Fucking Amal (also known as Show me Love), Lukas Moodysson's first film. It is also a very nice romantic film about two young girls falling in love! In case you have problems with the Swedish language, you will have to follow this transcript.


mr waggish said...

Have you seen "A Hole in the Heart"? I hear it's considerably tougher. And his latest film is some abstract arty thing that I know very little about. Maybe he needs some Prozac.

Alok said...

No I haven't seen it. After reading about it I didn't want to actually.

Antonia said...

i thought it is quite a good film, about the situation of kids in russia - eastern europe - and that Rammstein took part in this or also in the Melville film 'Pola X' is definitely proof that they are far from being the fascist superficial hardrock band.

Alok said...

I normally don't like this kind of music. but this one the meiz herz brennt is very good.

antonia said...

i agree alok, normally I also listen to different stuff. but they have that special something.

jyothsnay said...

...They will come to you at night
demons, ghosts and black fairies
They`ll creep out of the shaft of the cellar
and will look under your bedclothes
.....oh this so reminds me of Cavin & Hobbes!this's what that brat does too..
I always this heavy metal machine -Rammstein, quite intriguing.I am not so ardent fan of Heavy metal, but find self drawn to their lyrics draped in darkish fabric, just waiting to be uncovered.I feel, Rammstein is almost like Harley Davidson of the musical world, niche, the indomitable/irrepressible spirit, niche yet staying aspirational for one to be associated with....thank you for sharing with us

sexy rancheros said...
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sexy rancheros said...
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sexy rancheros said...

Man, I wish there was a way to edit your comment after it has been posted. This is a little late, but I just came across your blog and since Lilya 4-Ever is my favorite movie, I feel like defending the "one scene towards the end which is so blatantly and outrageously sentimental and manipulative."
The film has it's fair share problems mainly from shoddy direction like how Moodysson handled her mother leaving, where he basically milked it of all it's emotional worth by having her fall in the mud, but personally, I feel the scene that you deem "sentimental" and "manipulative" to be perfectly fine because I feel it's not supposed to be taken all too literally. I'd imagine that a lot of it depends on a viewer's religious beliefs and since I'm an agnostic, I have my reservations. It's a nice thought, but my rational side refuses to accept it on a literal level, making the film even more depressing. I think the best thing Moodysson did with the film was preceding this scene with an image of Lilya with her eyes open and looking up, allowing the viewer to interpret the scene as a thought or dream in her head. Yeah, just felt like offering my opinion on the matter. Also, I would like to know what scene you viewed as an homage to Mouchette. For some reason, I want to say it's the scene where she falls in the mud, but I'm not totally sure. As you said, the film is very much like Mouchette so it's not surprising if there's a scene directly lifted from that film.
Best Regards,