Thomas Nöla  

A unique underground movie-maker that takes bizarre movie-making to another level. It's not just about a lack of logic, there isn't even dream-logic, themes, symbolism, or even surrealism. It's just strangeness for its own sake, with some added effective atmosphere by the talented and eclectic soundtrack (which he writes himself), and meandering scenes full of non-sequiturs and a general feeling of improvisation and creative, nonsensical whim. Personally, I find this style unrewarding and empty, but others may be entertained, especially while stoned. Reviewed until 2016.


Blood Jungle  
Saying that a Nöla movie is slightly more coherent than his other movies is like describing a man as 'slightly less flamboyant than Richard Simmons'. When this movie started, I was trying to figure out what it's about. Ninety minutes later I was still trying to figure out if it's about anything at all, only feeling much more annoyed. It's a 'period anti-Christian film', in some alternate planet that is. There's a castrato singing for a church except his voice is deep, his religious beliefs are spiteful and non-existant, and his attitude is 100% misanthropic and violent, all of which makes as much sense as everything else in the movie. There's a mechanical bishop-head in a phonograph box making declarations in Latin (the only creative bit in the movie), and many other members of the church as well as the Pope that go on and on in pseudo-religious speeches that don't resemble anything in reality, as if some mentally-damaged kid had written a speech for an imaginary cleric. They all go on random expeditions exploring a jungle or desert hunting dodos, presumably as some kind of satire on missionary work. The castrato befriends a man who has been beheaded by the church and who has somehow put himself back together again. Add other random strange characters, very bad acting, awkward failed attempts at humor, a volcano, a violent climactic act against the Pope, all ending on a speech about the random meaninglessness of the world. And now, thanks to this summary it all becomes clear: This was an attempt at a surreal attack on the Church. Except it's completely inept. Christianity is re-imagined in some kind of unrecognizable alternate reality with clowns as straw men, and the dialogue somehow manages to be both pretentious and juvenile, cancelling any possibility of satire, and making for silliness rather than humor, and nonsense rather than surrealism. How can one completely fail at making fun of Christianity? It offers so many easy targets!

Doctor, The  
The Doctor is an angry, verbally-abusive psychiatrist and general man of science, wearing a thick layer of pancake makeup and living in a very alien world where nothing make sense. He is haunted by his dead wife, an allegedly dead female patient (but don't tell her that), some mysterious and ominous black-faced constables, a male patient obsessed with food, some pierrots, and problematic Chinese maids. There is not much of a story, the endless flowery dialogue and narration along with the scenes consisting mainly of non-sequiturs as the Doctor tries to come to terms with whatever is happening to him until he becomes a recluse in a tiny red cardboard box in a snowy forest. A sample scene has the Doctor playing a game of cards in the mountains with his dead patient while he ruminates about the future of the land, commuting, 'dromedary eaters', and the platinum content of the mountaintops which is somehow related to 'vehicle beautification', among many other things, until 'his body moved in a manner that left him on his side'. There's one funny scene where the Doctor and his friend witness a scene of a clothed man awkwardly trying to figure out how to have sex with a naked girl and the Doctor remarks "I've seen this procedure before". Other elements include a red-costumed griffin narrating in a foreign language, a restaurant that serves an African woman from Asia prostitute, a not-quite-David-Lynch vaudeville act, and other random strangeness. But most of the movie is just disconnectedly bizarre without anything to tie it together, there's too much talking and narration to the detriment of the atmosphere created by the interesting music, and the bad acting doesn't help sell this extreme strangeness at all.

An atmospheric, indie, home-made, not-quite-Jim-Henson-esque puppet fantasy in the vein of Alice in Wonderland, only without the wit. The story, as told by a puppet, is of an incompetent, careless man who gets a strange gift of a jack-in-a-box from a vengeful man, befriending the jack and following it down into the box into a puppet park/forest world where nothing makes sense. Most of the movie consists of what feels like improvised and meandering fantasy sequences and strange puppet vignettes accompanied by home-made atmospheric music and unusual musical interludes. The voices are too amateurish, the movie is both childish as well as unfit for children, and the quirky adventures with the creatures and various strange people would be surreal fun if not for the lack of structure. Probably a fun watch if you're stoned, and there are snippets of talent, but overall, I found it tediously long and unrewarding.

To The Wolves  
Although this is supposedly a prequel to The Doctor and features the same actor, this has nothing in common and takes place in a completely different world. But with such random, meandering movies, anything random can be called a prequel I suppose. The Doctor, and a garrulous friend and guide Bruno Helden, wander the world in search of something or another, taking part in various adventures and pleasures, discussing random subjects, Helden trying to teach the Doctor the ways of the world. There's drinking of blood in a glass of milk like some kind of drug habit, they visit a 'brothel cave' to discuss various philosophical subjects while watching vintage porn, there's random violence, a weird impromptu disemboweling with a saw at a wake, some strange abusive methods to heal a man of his violent tendencies inspired by Clockwork Orange, they visit a Kaiser, a Tsar, a jester with a clown's red nose, and a harpsichord girl who perform a strange execution to clanging harpsichord background noise etc etc. The dialogue is flowery, pretentious, mind-numbing, and overlong, with random whimsical references to primordial giants, 'tambourine-throwers', and other oddities, and it's all so pointless, unrewarding and random that it takes extreme effort just to pay attention to the end of sentences. There's hardly any plot, no structure, drama, theme, logic, point or even atmosphere, although there's some narrative development, the behaviour on screen never makes any kind of sense, it's not even bizarre in a mysteriously interesting David Lynch sort of way, and the acting is weak. A painful chore to watch.

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