A Hole in my Heart – Film Review

A Hole in my Heart could have been something interesting, but instead fails to deliver any sort of social message, which, I believe was what director Lukas Moodysson had set out to do in this movie.

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Having watched Lilya 4-ever many years ago, I felt compelled to pick this up at my local secondhand commodity-store, and thought it would go down with a nice cup of tea. Instead, my eyes had to witness what can only be described as amateur pornography, in some rundown apartment, where a father and his close ‘guy-friend’ had sex with a woman. The twist in the story is a psychological one (but, to be frank, most of it was twisted). Sadly though, the backstory (primarily the father’s), whilst presented as a deep psychoanalytical exploration into these people’s lives, was wafer-thin, almost cardboard in its narrative. ‘What a shame’, I said to myself as I watched this. Lilya 4-ever this was not, because at least that film had some sort of impacting message (at least it did for me).

But thinking back to Lilya 4-ever, I can see Lukas Moodysson’s filmmaking style is in this film too. In Lilya, there was a few corny scenes that undermined the movie as a whole (the angels, a McDonald’s happy meal on the table), but at least they were memorable. (I watched that film perhaps ten years ago.) Having just watched A Hole in my Heart, I fail to recall much. The only interesting thing happened when the woman leaves the apartment, and entering the real world, we see that she cannot handle it, so she then retreats back to them. The film should have explored that idea more, I believe, and could have easily been done as she was the only one to leave the house! If they’d all have left at one point or another, we could have seen how they required the perversity of their secret world, inside the flat, in order to survive. It would have made for a deeper, more meaningful contrast. But no! instead, we have what I would term as post-dogma camera work, looped editing (e.g the film starts where it begins), and by the end of it I’m immediately left with the words ‘Is that it?’ on the tip of my tongue.

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I believe Lukas Moodysson is a talented filmmaker, but A Hole in my Heart is huge failure in my opinion, purely because it lacks a coherent message. Some films don’t require an explicit statement for the audience to receive, but in a film such as this, there is a moral obligation not to infect the viewer with bad ideas. Moodysson, by not being obvious in his message, signals to some viewers that this kind of behaviour is acceptable, when it is not. I don’t care what happened to a character such as the boy’s father – you don’t treat women like that! Having psychological issues such as what he had does not mean you should enact abuse on others. Moodysson fails to deliver a solution to this type of problem, which he could have easily have done, and in not doing so he leaves the film open to the interpretation of being a glorification of sexual abuse. Whilst I believe Moodysson did not intend for this to be perceived as such, it must be said that there are many, many damaged people out there who will see this film as so. It could be said this is purely that type of viewer’s fault for indulging in that psychological perversion of theirs, but this is exactly my point: Moodysson gives them the opportunity to self-medicate their own psychological issues in this arena. A misjudged film, by a filmmaker who is capable of so much more.


Carne – Bear Film Review

I’ve literally just watched Carne, so this should be a raw/Rawwwr Bear review. If you like it – like it! And of course, comments are appreciated and replied to.

NOTE: This is a review of a Gaspar Noe film, so may contain topics that would unsettle the squeamish. To give you an idea – this guy loves the film Salo by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Now, the review…


Apparently, the consumption of horse meat is illegal everywhere in the whole entire world apart from France, and instead of calling it horse meat, they call it ‘Carne’ due to its colour and moderate pricing.

Carne is the name of his film. Apt choice, if you mind me saying.

The film is relatively short, coming in just shy of 40 minutes, but that’s the only thing shy about this piece of cinema by Gaspar Noe, and if you’ve seen anything about him, they you know how graphic his imagery can get. His ballsy approach to filmmaking is quite admirable in my opinion, and he really tests you to keep watching from the get go.

The Butcher

In Carne, it opens with the butcher – the main character of this film – in an abattoir, killing a real horse, slitting its throat on screen. Out of context, this is simply exploitation, but when considered with the rest of the story, it is such a bold move that I doubt many directors would ever consider putting such a scene in their film. I would go as far as to say it was the total opposite of exploitation and bought some truth to the viewer
as a reminder of the process our meat produce goes through before ending up on our plates.

Nevertheless, his life revolved around the handling of meat, which is divided only with the love of his daughter.

Let’s get one thing clear: the butcher is messed up in the head. That’s for sure. Since the birth of his daughter (yeah, we see that moment in the short film as well) he has been left to bring her up on his own. His wife wanted

nothing to do with the baby as she wanted a boy. Odd, but that’s how it played out. Now the messed up bit – it seemed to me that the butcher was fighting incestual thoughts off up until the moment he said early on in the film that his daughter had become a lady, and in his own words he said this: “And in a few months she became a lady. Her body changed. It was strange for me.” I don’t know about you, but that’s just fucked up. Don’t believe me? How about if I said he still washes her in the shower room. Yeah… thought so…

 The Daughter

As the film pushes on, it becomes apparent that the daughter never speaks. Not even at the dinner table. It’s as if she was brought up never to speak. That on its own is a sign of a bed relationship with his father. And this hidden world isn’t unnoticed by the strangers in the cafe he goes to sometimes. In one scene, he goes in there, orders the same drink he always does, and two guys in the corner mutter to themselves how he is a ‘nerd’. They say it in a way that suggests they can sense his creepiness.

As the daughter was growing up, her father would wait by her as she rode the mechanical horse ride for children. As she turned into a ‘lady’ as he put it, they stopped that. But when she stood there in her silent demeanour, by the horse, there was a guy there whom kept asking her if she was alright. And then he asked if she wanted to ride the horse, and stuck a coin into the slot. It then cuts to the guy trying to get it on with the butcher’s daughter, but she keeps trying to pull away. Next thing we know, the butcher finds out, tracks the guy down, and beats the living daylights out of him. He gets put in jail for some time. As a result, his lawyer comes into his cell and manages to persuade him to sign the deeds of the butchers over, so that he can get out of jail quicker.

The Release

Getting out of jail (and convincing himself he’s not gay due to his cell mate’s offerings), he goes straight to the cafe and orders his drink. The ‘fat woman’ who serves him all the time is still there, and he’s always banging on about how he wants to bang her. And in the end, he does.

Unfortunately, in his perception that is, he gets her pregnant, and he tries to correct this by doing her hard from behind, penetrating the fetus so that it miscarriages. Not my words… I guess the butcher just likes to butcher everything, judging by the way he speaks in his head, and sometimes acts out.

The end of the film ends in an Eraserheadesque flickering of nightmarish images of faces in the dark, and then it’s all over. For a short film, it sure does have quite an effect on you, that’s for sure. Would I watch it again? NO. But did I think it was a good film. YES.


I recommend this to film lovers who:

a. Have a strong stomach.
b. Are open minded.
c. Aren’t vegetarian.

P.S if you can speak french or read French subtitles… voila! The video:



Rasputin: The Mad Monk – Film Review

Yo Ho Ho! Want to know more about some freaky guy who stared his way out of poverty and into the realms of riches? Yes? Then read on biatch…

This Hammer Horror film stars Christopher Lee as (you guessed it!) Gregory Rasputin. It starts off at a quaint little pub, where the landlord’s wife is bedridden with the most horrendous fever, so much so that it has rendered her so weak to stay awake. Enter Rasputin: a giant-Russian-Lumberjack of a guy (if there is such a thing). He is brought into the bedroom where the wife so sleeps, and then proceeds in his healing process. It must be said that his hands are like SHOVELS!!! They’re so big that when he places his hands over her face, enclosing them slowly over her like a tomb, they completely conceal her. And that stare – it’s the most intense imaginable. It reminded me of that gopher creature on youtube who turns around and gives the camera a devilish stare (maybe Rasputin reincarnated?). Anyway, so he expels the fever from the landlord’s wife, and dunks his hands into a jug of water found on the windowstill, to rid the fever from his hands (he trapped it in there, you see). He’s then rewarded with lots of alcohol, and a song and dance. He dances with a young lady whom he quickly takes to a barn full of haystacks for some lovin’. But then the young lady’s fella spotted them at the pub, and followed them there – he tries to kill Rasputin with some kind of cutting tool (A hoe?) but is out fought by o’ Greggers. The end of this act concludes with Rasputin deciding he wants to go to the city, once told that “The city is no place for common folk like you” (I paraphrase, but you get the gist).

Hay now.

So now he’s made his way to the city, and he’s in another bar. A doctor is practically demanding that people go up against him in a drinking contest as he believes no-one could possibly outdrink him. It’s only when the mention of money is heard by Rasputin that he takes him up on his challenge, and drinks him under the table. Sure enough, the two of them become friends so after.

One more important thing happens at this bar – a lady in waiting to her majesty downs a heavy drink and starts laughing manically. Rasputin, who is dancing at the time, takes great offense by this and give her the stare of a thousand deaths, telling her that she will come to him and apology for laughing at him. The lady in waiting’s brother, sat with her, is appalled by such vile behaviour on Rassie’s side of things, but the bearded one doesn’t care any less, and goes back to his seat. Charming!

It was indeed hypnotism what Rasputin did, as the red haired lady at the bar manages to track him down. He is squatting at the ex-doctor’s abode whom he beat in the drinking challenge last night and apologies to him. He tells her to get on her knees and slaps her, then says that she will cook for them like a common peasant. Then she tells them that she will not as she is a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Rasputin changes tactics now, knowing that she is of some real use to her after hearing this, and hypnotises her again with his wide daemonic eyes, telling her that she will cause an “accident” whereby the son of Tzar will need his methods of healing to get better. And that so happens not long after he tells her to – she pushes the young lad off of a pillar, knocking him out cold on the ground.

After Rasputin heals the son and tells the queen that “He’ll be fully recovered by the morning,” he somehow worms he way into living at the majesty’s abode. He also (by hypnotizing the queen) got his ex-doctor friend reinstated as a doctor – ergo, she hires him as her doctor, and fires the other one.

After Rasputin heals the son and tells the queen that “He’ll be fully recovered by the morning,” he somehow worms he way into living at the majesty’s abode. He also (by hypnotizing the queen) got his ex-doctor friend reinstated as a doctor – ergo, she hires him as her doctor, and fires the other one.

After hypnotizing the queen, the red-haired lady is no more of use to Rasputin, but she gets to clingy to him. What does he do? Answer: he puts he in a trance, telling her to kill herself. And later, she does – her brother find her in her room, wrists slit and blood drawn. Bloody awful stuff.

He is a very fickle man

But all Rasputin’s good fortune can’t go on for much longer, if the lady-in-waiting’s brother and his scheming officer have anything to do with it. They devise a plan whereby they invite Rasputin to meet up with the officer’s sister – the other lady-in-waiting (whom he earlier described as “The prettier one”). He falls for the set up and comes to the place he is told to, and is left to wait in a room whilst she gets ready. On one table is a decanter full of sweet sweet alcohol, just how he likes it. He drinks a couple of glasses of this. He sits down. Next to him now are a box crammed full of marvellously presented chocolate bites (well, I thought they looked good). He takes one, two… about eight of them, and chucks them into his mouth like a gluttonous pig. He then suddenly gets stomach pains and falls to the floor in agonising pain. This is because the drink was laced with poison and the chocolates were injected with… poison! He’s been poisoned!! But like the super-freak he is, he manages to get up. The brother is shocked by this (he’s been spying on him the whole time) as Rasputin tries to kill him. Eventually, it takes both the officer and the brother to end Rasputin’s life. Rasputin gets thrown out of a window, and the brother gets stabbed in the back with a flying dagger.

I’ve got to take into consideration that this is a Hammer Horror film, so the accuracy of such a story is most likely a mixture of facts and OTT fictions. But who knows. I certainly don’t – I only just watched the film about ten minutes ago and know nought about the Rassmeister, apart from what this film has shown my brain.

Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get… perhaps, poison?

But, as a viewing experience, I would like to award Rasputin: The Mad Monk a….