3 March 2012 | runamokprods
Chilling and darkly funny, as is all of Andersson's great recent work
This "unfinished" short about AIDS and it's effect on society represents Andersson's leap to his all out surreal style that has dominated his later work.
Like his features "You, The Living" and "Songs From the Second Floor" this is alternately extremely funny, and deeply disturbing, often in rapid succession, or even simultaneously.
The long, static shots, with a bleached out look are here, as are the strange, slightly stilted performances by actors wearing pale, ghost-like make up, along with his way of creating numerous individual vignettes around a theme that don't always tie together in an obvious way, but somehow come together to create a powerful emotional impact.
This was supposed to be made for the Swedish Board of Health, but as the other reviewers have noted, it's not hard to see why they were scared off by this deeply sad and disquieting work, along with the implication – perhaps literal, but more likely a darkly satiric jab at the medical establishment and the United States, that the disease didn't come from monkeys, but was given deliberately to mentally handicapped people as an experiment.
Perhaps not yet up to the full brilliance of his work to come, this shows Andersson as a completely unique voice – somehow both very experimental and yet accessible - in a world of cinema where unique voices are far to rare.
This is now available to buy as part of the "5 X Andersson" DVD set, which contains his 5 major short films, (3 student, 2 professional) along with a full disc of his explanation of the how's and why's of the images in this film, and "World of Glory" his other professional short. The set is a must for any fan of Andersson's work.