So Close, Yet So Very Inexplicably Far – A Film Review of ‘The Bothersome Man’

The Bothersome Man

Maybe it’s the imminent decent of cold weather on the east coast or the controversial holiday stir that is rising out of a soon to be gender neutral Sweden, but Scandinavia seems to be everywhere I look lately, and I love it. Known mainly for films that explore the bleak side of existence with two very famous exports, Lars Von Trier and Ingmar Bergman figuring at the top of the region’s stark and melodramatic brand, the cinema of this region is not to be ignored.

One of the best films out of Norway in the last coupe of years is Jens Lien’s The Bothersome Man. It is a quiet subtle film, which focuses on the non-verbal and the implied in its exploration of a disturbed parallel reality. If you have ever worked a painful office job and longed for the day that you would be able to break free from the suspended ceiling tiles and monotonous rhythm of the photocopy machine, you will understand The Bothersome Man.

Set in dystopian Iceland, a world that looks unchanged from the land we know today, Andreas (Trond Fausa) is transported (literally) into his new mediocre middle class life. Provided an office job, an apartment, a wife and friends from an unknown source, the new life of Andreas denotes perfection on the surface, yet why does he still feel empty? Realizing that he is the emotional outsider of his cold surroundings, Andreas notices that human indulgences, from the taste of food to the feeling of love, are absent in his new world. Additionally, he begins to witness strange occurrences that all point towards the inability of his fellow coworkers to be able to feel (physically and emotionally).

As Andreas becomes aware that he is also moving towards apathy and desensitization, his only answer is to inflict as much pain as possible on himself in order to escape the dystopian world through suicide. But even that is met with failure. Until he discovers what he thinks is utopia, a gateway to another world on the other side of a concrete wall in the basement of a random apartment building. Andreas is determined to get to the other side.

There are a plethora of amazing Scandinavian films for lovers of early cinema and devotees to contemporary culture. The Bothersome Man is one, five other noteworthy films available on iTunes and Netflix are Wild Strawberries, The Celebration, Antichrist, Let the Right One In and Insomina (the 1997 version).

Christina Stimpson

November 29, 2012 / By

Nature Inspired Paintings by Inca Pan

Inca Pan

Inca Pan

Inca Pan

Inca Pan

Inca Pan is an illustrator from Taichung who makes thoughtful, nature inspired paintings. His work is filled with lots of neutral, natural colors which are often punch up a bit with the presence of oranges. His pieces are also quite textured giving added depth to each of them. You can see more of his paintings by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

November 29, 2012 / By

‘I’m Fine Thanks’ – A dark, disturbing and wonderfully brilliant short

'I'm Fine Thanks' - A dark, disturbing and wonderfully brilliant short

I’m Fine Thanks is a short animation created by the Irish animator Eamonn O’Neill during his first year studying at London’s RCA. The film is pieced together through a series of short vignettes that show the unfolding frustrations of a small, strange man as he goes from helpless flunky to raging maniac.

It’s an odd film which is at times dark and disturbing but Eamonn’s skill as a director means it’s totally engaging and the humor is devilishly black. Visually, I’m Fine Thanks is amazing. I love the colors that are used and I’m particularly fond of the way the lines buzz on screen with every frame.

Recently Eamonn has become an animation director at the wonderful Studio AKA and his graduate film Left is currently doing the rounds at film festivals. You can check out a short but brilliant trailer for it online here.

Philip Kennedy

November 29, 2012 / By

RIP Austin Peralta

Austin Peralta

Austin Peralta, son of Stacy Peralta, passed away at the age of 22 last week. Peralta’s star was on the ascent with several full lengths and innumerable live performances. Even his collaborations at such a tender age were the stuff of jazz dreams. Chick Corea, Robert Glasper, Flea and Frank Ocean have all paid their tributes and now is our time as well.

Last year on the site we celebrated his Brainfeeder release Endless Planets. In February 2011 I took my then-girlfriend, a classically trained piano player, and some of my closest friends to the album release party in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. It was a true Brainfeeder party, a motley assortment of LA’s young weirdos and music-obsessed. You can listen to that concert in its entirety in the Soundcloud player above. It contains his hallmarks: untamed expressiveness and music theory hung, drawn, and quartered. After the concert me and the lady had a conversation.

“I don’t get it.” She said.
“What do you mean?”
“He plays out of rhythm, out of the key, changes tempos. I was never taught to do anything like that.”
“But it makes sense, right? Even when he is off the deep end, he’s still in the water.”
“Yes it makes sense.”
“That’s jazz, B. It’s not supposed to make sense until it has to, wants to, or simply does. And even then, you have to trust it will find a resolution, like all music.”

Maybe that was Peralta’s biggest gift: his technical prowess and theoretical mind were soldered into his motherboard like few other musicians. Some guys have the chops, others have the theory. He had both. His modal recognition (in simple terms, playing different scales with the musical key) on the keyboard made sense into nonsense and back again. He could collaborate with anybody, from Flying Lotus to Teebs to the jazz greats, an essential link to the past and future of jazz. This is what we are missing. This is what we will miss.

Alec Rojas

November 28, 2012 / By

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Trevor Tarczynski

Trevor Tarczynski - iPhone, iPad, Desktop Wallpaper

Trevor Tarczynski

I’ve been in a super colorful mindset lately, the more cracked out the better. So obviously today’s wallpaper fits my vibe to a tee. It was created by Trevor Tarczynski, a Los Angeles based designer who’s known around town for designing some of the best show posters. For his wallpaper he took the lyrics from a song he loves, in this case the Beach Boys song I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times, and the styled them to look like the calligraphic work of Mouneer Al Shaarani. The line above says, “I guess I just wasn’t made for these times,” a lyric I’ve always thought was so incredibly poetic. It’s also pretty cool how he did the background.

The wavy effect was achieved by spraying water onto my monitor and taking some photos then work in Photoshop. I’m really happy with the results. A soft prismatic and psychedelic yet digital vibe.

A big thanks to Trevor for such a beautiful wallpaper. Check back next Wednesday for another great background.

Bobby Solomon

November 28, 2012 / By