2002 new favorite movie contender
Plot: A very old, very wrinkled man has the hiccups or, as some people spell it, hiccoughs. Meanwhile, life and death go on around him. Pigs have sex. A shepherdess is leered at. Insects do insect things, and a policeman urinates. And oh, snap! Redrum! Redrum! Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup. Hiccup.
Sometimes I take notes on the movies I watch, especially when I get behind and know I'll forget something when I finally get around to writing about it. I wrote "Fahrtmester" in my notes for Hukkle, and apparently that was important enough to draw a box around. Fahrtmester. I don't know what that's about.
I do know that I loved this movie. I tried to watch it about a week before I did, but my wife was annoyed with the repetitious sound of the hiccuping guy. The titular hukkle, I guess. And you do get to see this heavily-wrinkled, half-grinning old man hiccup more than you can probably tolerate it. But that hukkle is just one of a flurry of sound effects. I can't remember a movie I've seen like this where the sound effects are at least as important as the visuals. There's this musicality or rhythm to the sounds going on in this nowhere village, and although there's almost no dialogue in this movie, there's plenty to listen to. Not to say the visuals aren't important or impressive because they are. There are a lot of "special effects" in this movie, things that made me wonder how the heck they pulled it off. There are lots of bug close-ups, recalling Microcosmos actually, and a whole lot of scenes where animals are in places where I don't think the animals would want to be. And there's that aforementioned pig sex scene if that's your thing. There's one scene during what I initially thought was an earthquake--it wasn't--that was really cool despite some dopey CGI. I also liked some stylish scenes involving an x-ray and some gyrating foliage that I liked even though they kind of clashed with the simple nature of the rest of the film. This is a sneaky film, one where nothing significant seems to be going on. You've got the hiccuper, a ladybug flying from a shepherdess to her stalker's nose, a bunch of insects, some guys bowling, that large-balled pig, a dying cat, a urinating policeman, a frog, somebody watching a soap opera. You almost just give up trying to find a plot, but then there's a striking imagery that reminds you that big things usually happen in movies and you start to piece together the clues and it's all so quietly shocking that you almost poop in your pants. I loved it, and the parts of me that loved it are the same parts that love the work of Jacques Tati and Twin Peaks. And movies with close-ups of insects.
See this one, Fahrtmesters! And when you do, stick with it and let it seep into your pores.