Offbeat Movies

I love movies that are quirky and well made and well acted. Here you will find reviews of movies you may not have heard of (I will try to avoid commercial successes, but some of them are good) that caught my attention because they are thought-provoking, have interesting story lines, unique characters, and good acting.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Final Member

Normally I wouldn't write a review of a documentary, but what I look for in a movie is good story, and this documentary tells a story. That the story is true only makes better.

The Final Member is the story of a collector, Sigurður Hjartarson, who needs only one piece to complete his collection. What he needs is not rare, but it is difficult to obtain: no one who has one really wants part with it. Hjartarson is aging, his health is declining and he wants to complete his collection before he dies.

 Hjartarson began collecting as a teenager in 1974. Thirty years later his collection grew so large, that, with his wife’s help (and insistence) he moved it out of his house and started a museum.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum. Sigurður Hjartarson collects penises.

At this point you might think this is a mockumentary. It is a real museum:

There are two men willing to give Hjartarson their penises. One is Páll Arason, famous Icelandic adventurer whose member enjoys quite a reputation in his homeland. He plans to leave his penis to Hjartarson when he dies.

The other is American Tom Mitchell who covets the spot as first (if not only) human specimen in the museum. Mitchell has always known that is penis, Elmo, was destined for greatness. He is so eager to get Elmo into the coveted spot in the museum that he considers having Elmo removed and sent to Iceland before he dies in order to beat out nonagenarian Arason.

This movie runs the gamut from ridiculous to sublime and back again. There is lots of dramatic tension. Will Mitchell come through on his proposed contribution? Will Arason’s shrinking member meet the legal length (a whole story in itself)? Can Mitchell find a doctor who will perform a phallectomy? Which man’s member will take pride of place in the collection?

The story is never about penises: it is about human beings. It shows us something about ourselves (whether we have penises or not). You will be entertained, but you may also be moved. Devotion, no matter how silly the thing one is devoted to, is still an emotion we can all identify with.


Think the world needs a Vagina Museum too? You aren’t the only one: Just think, if these two museums got together, what other little museums they could spawn?

No comments:

Post a Comment