(director/writer: Kristoffer Borgli; cinematographer: Benjamin Loeb; editor: Kristoffer Borgli; music: Turns; cast: Kristine Kujath Thorp (Signe), Eirik Sæther (Thomas), Fanny Vaager (Marte), Anders Danielsen Lie (Lege), Sarah Francesca Brænne (Emma), Andrea Bræin Hovig (Lisa), Steinar Klouman Hallert (Stian), Henrik Mestad (Espen), Fredrik Stenberg Ditlev-Simonson (Yngve), Ingrid Vollan (Beate); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Andrea Berentsen Ottmar/Dyveke Bjorkly Graver; Utopia; 2022-Norway-in Norwegian with English subtitles)

“A curious watch, one that I couldn’t resist.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A provocative and tasteless dark horror satire, set in Oslo’s art scene. It’s a sicko film about an artist’s need to get attention that she does something nutso by making herself dangerously physically ill. It’s directed and written by Norwegian filmmaker Kristoffer Borgli (“Drib”) in a twisted way that should appeal to viewers who are edgy.

The young Signe (
Kristine Kujath Thorp) and her live-in boyfriend Thomas (Eirik Sæther) are both struggling artists, who work in a coffee shop. They go on stealing binges and show off their booty to friends. Thomas finds success using them in his sculptures. His success pisses off the insanely competitive and jealous Signe, who reacts by feigning sickness (like from a nut allergy) to bring attention to herself. She then discovers a drug called Lidexol, a Russian manufactured anti-anxiety medication that really makes her ill by altering parts of her body and making her seem like a monster wrapped in bandages. Then she gets Marte (Fanny Vaager), her social-media journalist friend, to write about her so she can be recognized in the art world as a freak.

It’s hard to convince me a sane person would do this to themselves, which made it hard for me to wrap myself completely around this attention-grabbing flick. Also, there’s nothing in the story that tells us that Signe is so crazed that she’s so sick of herself and is capable of doing this to herself. But it made for a curious watch, one that I couldn’t resist.

It played at Cannes

Kristine Kujath Thorp, in a wheelchair with bandaged
          face, checking her phone, in Sick of Myself.