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A substantial part of life is claimed by boredom. Beauty, love, work.. sometimes it just isn't worth getting out of bed. A girl in a strawberry pie factory, a stressed desert nomad, a Wall street stockbroker, the last living WW2 female spy, a painter who paints Time for 42 years, the first school shooter in history who wounded eleven children and killed two adults because: 'I don't like Mondays', are the characters in this film. John Malkovich gives voice to the inner bored human being. He crawls under your skin prompting questions: Howmany people in the world are like me? Written by
Watching this at my local screening room was a very significant experience. There's method to the madness of this movie - it's not just "trippy". But nevertheless you might not "figure it out" ...and it doesn't really matter to your enjoyment. In my opinion this is a must see for the art house crowd. (I didn't mark my comments as a "spoiler" because this movie doesn't really have any plot line to "spoil".)
One might suspect a movie that claims to be about "boredom" to move pretty slowly, maybe even making the viewer sit through some "watching paint dry" sequences. The reality is just the opposite; most of the time the screen is full of more than you can absorb! Depending on how you view it, the theme might not even be "boredom". It could just as well be the various paces of different humans, life in the fast lane, or even the meaning of life.
There's a lot of unusual camera work, including quite a few extreme closeups of faces. Even during interview sequences there will suddenly be closeups, making the viewer wonder how they got the camera so close without botching the interview. At one point you can enjoy an entire screen filled with a mouth biting into a sandwich. At another point a subject explicitly points at and calls out the camera.
Here's my attempt at a description of the general style of this movie: start with unusual and quirky material about people, a-la Ira Glass's This American Life radio show. Now make it the "best of ..."; in other words punch it up a notch. Now give the lead to the video instead of the audio (actually make _both_ the video and the audio important). Now make it "arty". Now inter-cut pieces of the various segments by theme, rather than telling the stories sequentially.
The audio is of course in several languages, as portions of the film are in half a dozen different countries. There are very careful English subtitles, just enough to let you follow the thread, but nothing even close to the distraction of a literal translation of absolutely everything. (And as is common with very careful subtitles, thick accents get treated just like other languages. And important signs are translated just like the sound track.) Sometimes the audio is synced with the video; sometimes it's by the character in the video but at a different time; sometimes it's an unseen interviewer; and sometimes it's an impressive "narration" series of readings from famous sources. Not all of the narration readings are in English, and not all of those are translated (most likely depending on whether the "meaning" or the "feel" of those words is more important to the film at that point).
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