Heartbeat Detector

“Music is a virus,” company HR guy Simon is informed by his girlfriend early on in Nicolas Kotz’s Heartbeat Detector, based on the novel by Francois Emmanuel. In case we missed the point, one of Simon’s superiors later reminds him, “music doesn’t tolerate hierarchy.” Their warnings are entirely astute: music — in a number of incarnations from techno to fado to violin quartets — is the catalyst of Simon’s slow disintegration.

Continue reading my review of Heartbeat Detector, starring Mathieu Amalric, on About.com. Heartbeat Detector opens on March 14.

La Question humaine. Nicolas Klotz, 2007. ***

The Boss of It All

There’s a host of reasons why I make my modest living on the Internet and at the movies, but here’s one of the better ones: offices give me the creeps, and not just since the slapdash zoning violation filled with generator fumes and world-class drunks where I failed to catch a whiff of irrational exuberance. My aversion to soul-deadening cubes goes so far that I wasn’t able to stomach either version of The Office past the first few minutes.

But when Lars Trier makes a movie, I go. The Boss of It All is his first comedy–and his first Danish film–since The Idiots. Jens Albinus (also of The Idiots) plays an actor hired to impersonate the mysteriously absent CEO of a company about to be sold to Icelandic investors. The fish-out-of-water setup results in three kinds of humor: actor jokes, office jokes, and Icelandic jokes.

More on About.com when The Boss of It All opens next week.

Direktøren for det hele. Lars von Trier, 2006. ****