Iggy Pop narrates in rhyming verse as the voice of Nothing in this sensationally strange slice of avant-garde pontificating
Describing itself as a whistleblowing documentary parody, this 78-minute whimsical wallop of weirdness is composed of fixed shots landscapes, people, rooms both empty and full, and all manner of trinkets filmed by 68 film-makers in 70 countries over nearly a decade, which Serbian director Boris Mitic has stitched together in an editing suite, possibly going mad in the process. Laid over the top like some buttercream frosting is voiceover narration spoken by grungy god Iggy Pop. In a dry drawl, he tells of how Nothing, the abstraction he seemingly personifies for this story, comes to Earth, walks among us and makes all manner of observations, usually in rhyming verse.
Sometimes theres a harmony between words and images that is charming and delightful, for instance a moment when the shots of a modernist housing block with orange and yellow flowers in the foreground flashes up as Iggy/Nothing intones that, I like beauty. Not necessarily great beauty. Medium is fine. But then seconds later you get high school stoner-standard koans such as: The question is not, How can there be poetry after holocausts? But, How can there be holocausts after poetry? To which the answer should really be, grow up.
How do you give a star rating to a film like this? With a movie so perversely sui generis, yardsticks are pointless. It all comes down to the viewers tolerance for pretension and avant-garde risk taking. There is a cinematic bloodline for this, one thats deep in the DNA of Chris Markers Sans Soleil and The Last Bolshevik, and Patrick Keillers London and Robinson in Space, among others. This is nowhere near as intellectually stimulating or transcendent as those films. Its not exactly a big nothing, but nor is it something to write home about.