7.3/10
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1 user 4 critic

Edwin Brienen's Hysteria (2006)

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Cast overview:
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Lara
Sebastian Suba ...
Quentin
Bettina Hoppe ...
The Butler
Nicole Ohliger ...
Melanie
Sükriye Dönmez ...
Daphne
Marin Caktas ...
The Father
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The most bizarre cinema experience of the year!

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Drama | Horror

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15 June 2006 (Germany)  »

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Hysteria!  »

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Extreme experimental cinema
27 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Hysteria is an experimental film by controversial director Edwin Brienen. The storyline seems to involve a woman who is raped by various men; later she gets revenge on her attackers. The film is supposed to feature many political and social issues; unfortunately I didn't spot them. The film is largely silent apart from music. Some scenes are even based on early silent movies of the early 1900s. The film is similar in style to films by Nick Zedd or Richard Kern.

The film is shot in black and white. Some scenes are sepia tinted to make it look like vintage film footage, other scenes feature a sort of blue filter (similar to Shinya Tsukamoto's "A Snake of June") with some scratches added in editing. The music featured is industrial, some of it techno, some of it noise and bizarrely classical music is also used.

The film features some very strong images including: a man wearing a pig mask being fisted, scenes of rape and a man being suffocated with a plastic bag whilst having (what looks like) excrement smeared in his face. Despite some of the extreme scenes the film is beautiful visually. The effects and the different coloured filters add to the film. I liked the music and it fits the film well. The classical music makes some of the crazier scenes appear more disturbing (a bit like in A "Clockwork Orange").

This film will not appeal to everyone (possibly even only a few). Experimental films by their nature are difficult for audiences who are used to easy-to-follow story lines. Some of the more graphic scenes will put-off viewers who like their films a bit tamer. If like me you like extreme cinema or are looking for something different I can recommend this.


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