Saturday, August 8, 2009


Let's face it: the Mets became unwatchable
months ago. So as a duty to long-suffering fans, I'm providing alternative television and cinema options to watching Mets baseball on TV.
Last night's choice for me was a foreign film I rented from the library, "The Bothersome Man."
It's a 2007 Norwegian film that is marketed and distributed by a fantastic company called the Film Movement, which has an extensive catalog of independently-made, smart movies that challenge the imagination and intellect and through beautiful photography and intriguing stories, open a window to the part of the world in which they were filmed.
"The Bothersome Man" is director Jens Lien's mind-bending and award-winning tale of a man who awakens to find himself on an empty bus and dropped off in the middle of a stunning, barren landscape in the middle of nowhere -- in reality, it's Icleand's Sprengisandur National Desert Reserve -- and is then transported by a stranger to a new home, where he is told he has a new job at a well-to-do-firm.
While it's not quite "The Matrix," or even "Dark City" and not quite fully in the sci-fi vein, the film succeeds in seducing you deeper into the mysteries Andreas, the leading character, wrestles with: Why is everyone in the unnamed city where he finds himself so polite? Why does the attractive young woman he begins dating and later moves in with, not express any emotion when he announces to her he's leaving her for someone else? How does he manage to sever his index finger in a gruesome mishap and later shower to find the digit completely repaired without any traceable evidence of the severing? Why does food seem to be tasteless? Why is he suddenly fired from his job the day after he asks his supervisor why there don't seem to be any children in the city?
And, perhaps most mysterious, where are those strains of haunting classical music he hears from a stranger's basement really coming from?
I give this film, which captured Norway's Amanda Awards (equivalent to the American Oscars) for best director, best screenplay and best actor, an 8.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 -- and it sure beats watching the Mets turn a 7th inning 2-0 lead into a a 6-2 loss as they did last night, punctuated by a walkoff grand slam by a Padres' unheralded, slap-hitting rookie off All Star closer, Francisco Rodriguez.


  1. Excellent suggestion. Also try "The Battle in Seattle," which we watched last night. You'll learn about love amidst a WTO protest.

  2. Turned the game on in around the 4th inning. Saw that they were losing 2-1. Saw that Parnell made it into the 3d inning. Turnied if off and watched Hostel 2, about the most anti-social and sick film I've ever seen. It may have caused nightmares but I slept soundly knowing that I didn't spend another night watching the Mets.