An image from Tarik Saleh's animated film "Metropia." (Courtesy Trust/nordisk)

Best of Tribeca: "Metropia"

Brainwashing through dandruff control, in a dark, arch Euro-futurist animated fantasy


--

Shares

Andrew O'Hehir
May 3, 2010 11:03PM (UTC)

A mumbling, dystopian dream-state animated film largely set within a vast subway system that links all of Europe's major cities, circa 2024, Swedish director Tarik Saleh's "Metropia" feels like a mash-up of scenes, ideas and metaphors from all over the sci-fi universe. It's a little bit "Matrix," a little bit "Blade Runner," a little bit "Robocop," a little bit, I don't know, "Soylent Green." Except in this case the green stuff is shampoo, a ubiquitious dandruff remedy that, as everyguy protagonist Roger (voiced by Vincent Gallo), gradually learns, is also the vector for some kind of corporate mind-control experiment.

Gallo's character ventures down the rabbit hole after following a lissome shampoo-ad model (Juliette Lewis) on a long nightworld journey through the interconnected subway system. He meets other people too, including the guy who supplies the voice in his head and the executive who appears to control the world. You'll also hear the voices of Udo Kier and Stellan Skarsgard, and yes, this is very much their kind of movie. Maybe the plot of "Metropia" is inscrutable and Saleh's cutting-edge European digital animation sometimes feels too cool for school, but what hooked me was the film's tone of gentle self-mockery, mixed with its genuinely mysterious atmosphere. You don't have to know what's going on to feel seduced by the ambient murmur and gentle self-mockery of "Metropia," which seems channeled straight from the 21st century's collective subconscious.

Advertisement:

 


Andrew O'Hehir

Andrew O'Hehir is executive editor of Salon.

MORE FROM Andrew O'HehirFOLLOW andohehirLIKE Andrew O'Hehir

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Film Salon Movies Tribeca Film Access Tribeca Film Festival

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •