A Hole In My Heart

2004, Movie, NR, 96 mins


With scenes that must surely rank among the most revolting ever committed to film, director Luckas Moodysson's fourth feature redefines the career of a young director whose past work (TOGETHERNESS, LILYA 4-EVER) thrust him to the forefront of a new, exciting Swedish cinema. Told in a disorienting, non-linear mode, and punctuated with rapid-fire montages of mutilated sex toys, pulsating organs and what appears to be real operating-room footage of labial reconstruction surgery, Moodysson's film boils down to a fairly straightforward scenario. In a cramped, squalid apartment somewhere in Sweden, Rickard (Thorsten Flinck) and his friend, Geko (Goran Marjanovic), are shooting an amateur porn movie. Geko's costar is Tess (Sanna Brading) an attractive, 21-year-old blonde who, having failed her audition for Big Brother, now hopes to make it as a porn starlet; she's even gone so far as to have her labia reshaped by a plastic surgeon. While Rickard films Tess and Geko having sex, Rickard's black-clad teenage son, Eric (Bjorn Almroth), broods in his bedroom, reading, drawing and listening to abrasive electronic music on his headphones. A noose hangs from his ceiling, piles of wires and heaps of soil litter the floor, and the earthworms he keeps in a box appear to be Eric's only friends. Born with a clubbed hand, he desperately misses his mother, who was killed in a car accident when he was only four. In between takes, Rickard attempts to draw Eric out from his room, even offering to let him hold the camera, but Eric refuses. Geko suggests Rickard take Eric to a shooting range — it's a great way for men to bond — but instead, Rickard invites Eric to fire away at the breasts and genitalia of a nude centerfold with an air rifle. Eric can only imagine himself blowing away the side of his father's head. Save for one or two rare moments, the action never leaves the confines of Rickard's hovel, and you'd have to reach all the way back to Dusan Makavejev's SWEET MOVIE (1974) to find anything even remotely comparable to the vomit and urine-filled food fight Moodysson and his intrepid cast cook up for the film's climax. Most shocking, however, is that from of all this perversion, characters emerge, and sympathetic ones at that: All of them, even the reprehensible Geko, are literally damaged goods, refuse in world in which anything can be commodified and degraded. It's harrowing to watch just how far these four actors are willing to go to bring Moodysson's vision to life, and their dedication commands respect, even as it dares you to keep your eyes on the screen. leave a comment --Ken Fox

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A Hole In My Heart
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