Sick Of Myself | Fresh Takes
Fresh takes and film reviews from new voices in film.
Callum, Dara & Sarah.
24 Apr 23
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Here's some Fresh Takes on SICK OF MYSELF, a darkly comic body horror that takes a viscerally upsetting look at just how far an individual will go to gain attention in the new era of social-media addiction.
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Dara Adeyemi, 21.Dara is a Film Studies graduate who lives and works in London.
We have all asked ourselves, "If I died who would miss me the most," right? Or is that just a question for narcissists?
The 'I shouldn't be laughing' snorts of laughter that Lemony Snicket's 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events' introduced me to break out when watching Sick Of Myself. This dark comedy by Kristoffer Borgli reflects society's new hierarchy of pain, where lack of attention supersedes bleeding. 'Beauty is pain' they say, but Signe, the female lead, demonstrates that pain itself might be a more effective way of garnering celebrity.
The indicative camera movement and the gorgeous play with the thirds of the frame in each shot pleases the eye of the cinephile, while 'gross' tactile scenes would please the undercover sadist.
Now left with the joy (and pain) of questioning whether my empathy for Signe exists because I am also narcissistic, or whether my inexcusable amusement highlights a concerning lack of compassion, I would recommend Sick Of Myself to all who are ready for mouth-covering giggles, eye-covering horrors, and introspective questions.
SarahSarah is a student on an MA Film Studies programme at King's College London. She is passionate about photography and documentary filmmaking and has just completed her first short non-fiction film.
Sick Of Myself, the second feature by Norwegian writer-director Kristoffer Borgli, starring the brilliant Kristine Kujath Thorpe in the lead role, is a disturbing black comedy that explores themes of alienation, narcissism and celebrity.
The film tells the story of Signe, a disturbed and unhappy young woman who decides to overdose on an illegal Russian drug inducing severe bodily disfigurement in a twisted bid for attention and recognition.
The tone of the film moves from cool satire to full-blown body horror as it careers towards its disturbing climax in Signe's grotesque physical deterioration, psychosis and humiliation.
We first meet Signe as she works at a monotonous café job, has distant interactions with her self-absorbed conceptual artist boyfriend Thomas, and attends stilted dinner parties with their disinterested friends.
Around halfway, the film takes a dramatic turn into absurdity and abjection as Signe's condition worsens and her grasp on reality begins to slip away. One of the best-set pieces in the film is a scene in which she imagines all the people who will attend her funeral and morbidly exults in the sympathy that she feels entitled to and denied in her own life.
Ultimately, Sick Of Myself is about a plaintive cry for attention, a woman trapped in her own life and unhappy relationship, whose increasing dissatisfaction and loneliness lead her to take desperate measures to be seen by those around her. Kristine Kujath Thorpe's performance in the lead role is outstanding and worth the price of entry alone.
Callum is currently studying film at the Queen Mary University of London. He is passionate about both making films and occasionally acting in them.
In Sick Of Myself, director Kristoffer Borgli uses effective elements of body horror and dark deadpan comedy to show the ugly side of being a narcissist in modern society, and how, for the main character Signe, being in the spotlight comes at a far greater cost than being lost in the shadow of her boyfriend's success.
While the characters were somewhat one-dimensional, the themes and messages that the film focused on were visceral and did not hold back. Signe and her boyfriend both yearn for attention without any regard for the damage they do, and as her self-destruction escalates in more and more eccentric ways the film makes no excuses for her; the audience is stuck between being angry or disturbed and wanting to laugh.
The daydreaming sequences show us some of where her mind is at and part of what leads her down the path she ends up taking. The film's use of delusion and fantasy as a plot-accelerator allows for some really hilarious sequences (especially a brilliant cameo moment). I believe the best parts of this film stem from the amazing performance by the lead Kristine Kujath Thorpe that, combined with uproarious comedic scene construction and sharp-witted humour, made for a hilarious satire.
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