Weird and irritating, best thought of as an experiment.
This short film, included as a bonus DVD with Marilyn Manson's album "The Golden Age of Grotesque", underscores the hit-and-miss track record of Marilyn Manson's career. At his best, he is provocative, antagonistic, insightful, and/or wickedly humorous.
While "Doppelherz" contains some eerie and unsettling imagery, it is extremely self-aware, and it adds up to very little. Manson's voice-over commentary drones on and on with such "thought-provoking" queries as "Do animals believe in God?" He also flirts with dark eroticism, the implications of fascism, and his usual nihilistic angst.
These are Manson's obsessions, and this isn't a terrible project. It seems as if Marilyn Manson is growing bored with rock music and is reaching beyond the medium to become a conceptual artist--he has dabbled in painting and has developed his own identifiable style. So perhaps "Doppelherz" represents his bid for a new variation of his old themes, his attempt to bring his ideas into a new medium.
It's just that it's all so damn heavy and pretentious, not to mention self-indulgent. Somewhere along the way, Marilyn Manson lost his sense of humor. I loved it when he was tweaking the sensibilities of people like Pat Robertson. I loved it when he had parents groups up in arms over nothing, blaming him for things that were not even possible, let alone stuff he didn't do. But now that there's nobody left to antagonize (they've all gotten over him), Marilyn Manson seems at a loss for something to do. There's nothing satisfying or rewarding or even challenging about "Doppelherz"...I just don't get it.
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