I wish I would have netflixed "Together" instead of "A Hole in My Heart" when I was trying to decide what I think of Lukas Moodysson. Now I don't even feel like I want to give him another chance. That was one of the most repulsive movies I have ever seen. There are close-up views of genital surgery, pornographic sex of the most ugly kind, and, for the piece de resistance, a man vomiting into a woman's mouth in a scene that looks pretty real. And GW, there are even close-ups of earthworms, so make sure you never watch it. You can tell how much Anthony Lane (2nd review) loves this guy when you read his review of this movie. He tries his hardest to defend it, and this is what he writes about the vomit scene (he was in an audience with 800 people because he saw it at a film festival)
Then came the point at which Tess and Geko reach absolute moral zero—the pits of degradation, of a kind that I will not describe (save to hint that it involves the forcible exchange of a waste product), and have no wish to witness again. At that exact moment, we hear the last chorus from the St. Matthew Passion—“Wir setzen uns mit Tranen nieder.” It roared from the speakers, and I felt eight hundred people or more rocked back, as if by a wave. From that there was no recovery. We stumbled out, and in the succeeding days I found myself playing the piece over and over, not in order to relive a noxious movie but because the Bach had regained its grave and devastating function. It has become, for too many of us, a concert piece, or something dignified to put on the CD player at the end of a fissile day. Suddenly, thanks to Lukas Moodysson, I heard it again as a Passion: the drama of Calvary, stern with lamentation. The question is: do we need to be hauled through scene after scene of drab, dehumanized behavior so that we may see, or at least hear, humanity restored at the end?
Yeah, I'm sure that's what Bach had in mind when he wrote that piece. Give me a break! And maybe I was so numbed out by the end that I missed it but I sure don't remember much humanity being restored. All the grotty creeps in the movie were hugging but it seemed totally implausible. Now that I'm thinking out loud (to you), Bergman has praised this guy, albeit for his first film (which wasn't that crazy), I have no idea what he thinks about this new film, and Bergman does have his own shocking mention of genital mutilation in Cries and Whispers...but still, this guy's no Bergman. Here's an interview with Moodysson where he talks about the movie. You guys that liked "Together" might want to read it because he seems nonplussed by people who view it as a pleasant comedy. He also says that when he compiled a list of the most important influences on his life the Cure was number one and Morrissey was number five. Huh.