X&Y — gender, power, sanity and, well, fucking

Issue 

X&Y
Writer/Director Anna Odell
Staring Anna Odell, Mikael Persbrandt, Jens Albinus & Anders Axelsson
Showing as part of the Scandinavian Film Festival nationally in July/August

Anna Odell is the enfant terrible of Swedish arty cinema. For her last film she publicly staged a psychotic breakdown and suicide attempt and got herself committed to a psychiatric unit - for which she got a fine and public telling off from the authorities.

This time she has assembled the cream of Danish and Swedish acting for an exploration of gender, power, sanity and, well, fucking. All the cast use their own names and the viewer is pushed to wonder what is real and what is not.

The film is marketed as drama, but it is equally a comedy.

The scenario is of a free-wheeling, months-long, fully-immersive, acting workshop out of which a script will emerge written by Anna Odell. From the opening scene we know we are in for a wild ride.

Mikael Persbrandt is the renowned alpha male of Scandinavian cinema. Odell, playing herself, makes it plain in the first minutes that she wants to film penetrative sex with him.

Next, other actors are brought in to play various aspects of the lead actors’ personalities. Pretty soon they are drawn into the erotic atmosphere and raucousness reigns. 

As jealousy, dominance and sexual obsession swarm, alpha male Persbrandt is outclassed by Odell, raising questions of how these things relate to gender.

If you like boundary-challenging cinema, this is for you.

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