Theater of Cruelty

Burlesque and carnivorous satire

Regissør: Robin Jensen

SUNDANCE CURRENT SHORT FILM / The short Norwegian animated film Farse is a grotesque, unrestrained and entertaining satire of the modern day decadence and decadence.


The ten minute Norwegian animation film Pranks won the Grimstad Terje Vigen Prize (which is regarded as the festival's prestigious «second prize») at last year's Short Film Festival and was also awarded with the Fredrikstad Animation Festival's prize for the best Nordic-Baltic Short Film. Now it has been selected for the short film program at the important Sundance Film Festival in the United States, starting January 23.

The film's exemplary «tagline» reads as follows: A man, a woman and a meat grinder. Love is bloody serious. And where it's usually just called "a movie by", it says at the beginning Pranks that it's "a terrible movie by Robin Jensen". The film, which is produced by the company Microfilm, holds absolutely what it promises in that way – well to note when it comes to content, not quality.

Decadent environment

Admittedly, it all starts out pretty innocent where we meet a male reindeerherder who falls in love with the woman in the nearby house. However, when the her herd is stolen – and he himself inadvertently ends up among the thieves – he discovers a brutal and decadent environment in the big city – because that's where the brutality and deca dance advise, must know. Here it is milled in meat from questionable sources while it is being produced rape pornography in the basement – with the kidnapped neighbor as an involuntary participant.

A fresh and biting satire about the upper class and today's unrestrained quest to satisfy absolutely every desire.

Pranks is a burlesque and wonderfully grotesque little sequences of a movie, which successfully combines a naivistic animation style (consisting of various techniques) with disturbing close-ups of real meatloaf, abrasive mouths, and other parts of human anatomy.

One should hardly attach too much heartfelt content to the film, but it is just as fresh a bit and , tire about , the Declaration and today's unrestrained quest to satisfy absolutely every desire – with the occasional ironic hint of the innocent and politically correct animated film tradition it relies on. And in the midst of all this, it tells a relatively sweet love story. It's basically terribly well done.

Aleksander Huser
Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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