This is a narrative tone poem if there ever was one. I've seen it twice over the past few days. Can't get over it, especially the first half, and I really wish I'd seen all that in the theater. The scene at the rave pretty much floored me. I don't think I've ever taken a drug, but something happens in that scene which reminded me of a few scenes in Morvern Callar
actually. Ghostly but real, but triggered by whatever the drug was. It also brings to mind one of those final scenes in Festen
we talked about years ago.
It might be extremely stale to note that this kind of cinema functions as interpreting or expressing isolation, especially a sense of longing for communion, or community, which is unachievable in the context these characters find themselves in. The first half of Heartbeat Detector
might capture this soulless feeling better than any film I've seen. Then in the second half they seem to find connection, but it's the kind that is so horrible they might want to go back to not connecting.
But it is a mood film. No doubt about that. Sure, it's a story, and it is driven linearly. But this is mood as much as it's story, both of those things appealing to the trapped self, pushed to the edge in psychologist Simon, who brags at several points that his main emphasis in the company is pushing others to the edge that he seems to face in the film's final frames, and the company's CEO, JÃ¼st, in the way they specifically relate -- or actually, don't relate -- to music.
JÃ¼st has played music but is so obsessive over his own performace that it actually physically pains him. Simon doesn't play but keeps trying to connect to others through it -- his girlfriend's singing (which she also attempts at the rave if you really pay attention) that he sidesteps several times to get to her body (even as he claims he loves her voice), or at a performance when he takes the business call and heads out. I'm sure there are other moments where he's blinding himself to the music by raving on and not realizing it can actually move him in a beautiful way.
A fascinating take, Heartbeat Detector
might actually be about people that are so lost that even music can't touch them anymore. It can't touch their hearts, any connection to it is undetectable, lost. I think I like the English title better than the original.
And note how still Simon finally sits in that last scene before it all goes black and we just hear his thoughts. Somehow he has faced his escapism and just chosen to live in -- gosh, at least for this moment of his life, what I can only think of as a horrible state, even though he seems to be reconciled to actually listening to the music.
I am not certain I understood everything that happened towards the end even after a second viewing, but I am fascinated with the movie in a way that I believe everything here has some sort of meaning. There were quite a few moments, even on second viewing, where I thought, now why is that scene even here? What was
that? Why did we even need that? But I think the film could be studied and I'd bet there is a layer of meaning in every chosen scene.
Edited by Persona, 14 April 2011 - 11:45 AM.