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A Hole In My Heart
cast: Thorsten Flinck, Björn Almroth, Sanna Bråding, and Goran Marjanovic

director: Lukas Moodysson

94 minutes (18) 2004 widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Metrodome DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
In a Swedish apartment, Rickard (Thorsten Flinck) is directing an amateur porn film starring Tess (Sanna Bråding) and Geko (Goran Majanovic). Meanwhile, Rickard's son Eric (Björn Almroth) stays in his room, listening to heavy metal through his headphones.

With his first two films, Show Me Love (original title Fucking Åmål), a tale of a teenage lesbian love affair, and Together (aka: Tillsammans), an affectionate look at life in a 1970s' hippie commune, young Swedish director Lukas Moodysson was feted as a young humanistic director, and received praise from Ingmar Bergman. The bleakness of Moodysson's third film, Lilya 4-Ever, the story of a Russian immigrant and her exploitation, came as a shock to many. Anyone of a tender disposition should steer well clear of his latest film, A Hole In My Heart (aka: Ett hål I mitt hjärta). That is a serious warning.

Shot on video with a cast of four, Moodysson tackles themes of commodification of western society and the objectification of women head on. The film is a much an assault on the audience as Moodysson jumbles the editing, includes random loud bursts of sound and cuts in shots of labial modification and open-heart surgery. A food fight becomes a gross orgy. The film's most notorious sequence involves degradation by vomiting. Meanwhile, Moodysson blurs packaging brand names in a kind of product un-placement. (He also blurs the faces of passers by in some exterior shots - just as well as I doubt that many of them would wish to see themselves onscreen in a film containing such extreme material.) But we end with the face of poor abused Tess, who doesn't seem to have known what she was getting into; sleeping and talking to herself like a child. It's clear what Moodysson is getting at, but less clear that he has succeeded. You can sense the rage, but it's an inchoate and inarticulate one.

Metrodome's DVD is available either singly or as part of a boxset with Moodysson's three previous features. It has an anamorphic transfer in the ratio of 1.78:1 and Dolby digital 5.1 and 2.0 sound options. Subtitles are optional. Extras: making-of featurette A Hole In My Second Heart, a Lukas Moodysson masterclass, the director's eight-page statement, and the trailer.

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