London International Documentary Festival

John Samson Retrospective

Screening on: Saturday 28 March and Monday 30 March

Venue: Horse Hospital, London

LIDF website

A political activist who came of age in Scotland’s shipyards during the tumultuous 1960s, John Samson (1946-2004) discovered documentary film after he met his wife-to-be, a student at the Glasgow School of Art. Trading precision tool making for the bohemian art world, Samson began experimenting with photography before moving on to filmmaking in the early 1970s. His first short, Charlie (1973), earned him a scholarship to the National Film School.

A 2008 exhibition at London’s Seventeen Gallery that featured three of Samson’s films was entitled ‘More Quoted than Seen’, an indication of both his cult status and the paradox of his obscurity. This year, the London International Documentary Festival is featuring a special retrospective dedicated to the ground-breaking filmmaker, screening five of his rarely seen films: Tattoo (1975), Dressing for Pleasure (1977), Britannia (1979), Arrows (1979) and The Skin Horse (1983). Drawing on his own experience as an outsider, Samson’s films reflect a fascination with the lives and behaviour of people living on the margins of conservative, mainstream society.

Tattoo opens with tight close-ups of a work-in-progress: a man’s arm is being shaved, the skin prepped for a tattoo that takes shape throughout the film. Interviews with both artists and the tattooed delve into the links between exhibitionism, pain, and very personal desires. But the film’s climax lets the tattoos speak for themselves: the camera lingers on the elaborately decorated bodies of both men and women, wordlessly offering the audience a glimpse at an otherwise very private art form.

Banned by London Weekend Television, Dressing for Pleasure is an intimate, candid film about people with a rubber fetish. An interview with John Sutcliffe, the legendary clothing designer who also founded AtomAge, ‘a magazine for vinyl wearers’, is woven through the film, while blown-up pages from the magazine are used as a backdrop to the carefully composed scenes of participants parading their outré costumes. An interview with a shop assistant at Sex, the King’s Road boutique owned by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, one of the few places that openly sold latex and rubber wear, links fetish wear to the equally scandalous punk scene. There’s nothing deliberately sensational in Dressing for Pleasure, and what emerges is not a film about people into S&M, but a portrait of an alternative lifestyle that embraces pleasure without shame.

One of Samson’s more compelling films, despite its relatively tame subject matter, is Arrows, a 1979 film about Eric Bristow, aka The Crafty Cockney – a young, cocky champion darts player who became a national celebrity in the UK. The most captivating scenes are those of Bristow drinking pints and smoking his way through an exhibition at a working men’s club; the film is a revealing snapshot not only of Bristow, but also of an England that’s virtually disappeared.

Although there are elements in Samson’s films that are undeniably dated – notably Tattoo‘s classic 70s soundtrack – the lifestyles he captured on camera are still strikingly relevant. His refusal to sensationalise and exploit his marginalised cast of characters makes his documentaries all the more remarkable in the current era of gossip-driven reality television.

Sarah Cronin

The John Samson retrospective is screening on Saturday 28 March and Monday 30 March at the Horse Hospital (London). More details on the LIDF website.


Love Exposure


5-15 February 2008

The 59th edition of the Berlinale film festival was challenging before it had even started. After a day-long delay in snowed-in Heathrow, the first film that was on offer on arrival was Sion Sono’s dizzying, daring, nearly four-hour epic Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi). Outrageously irreverent, both visually and thematically, the film is a fast-paced saga that follows a rebellious young boy whose life is thrown into complete turmoil upon the death of his saintly mother. The only way for Yu to gain the affection of his father, who has become a Catholic priest, is to perpetually commit sins, and by doing so he eventually runs into Maria, a man-hating riot girl. Possession, perversion, mass murder, up-skirt sneak photography, Christianity and mysterious religious cults, a sprinkling of martial arts and bold references to films such as the 1970s Female Convict Scorpion series are just some of the elements that make up this unique adolescent love story. Although the film starts off at a frantic pace, it gradually slows down as the devious plot develops before concluding on a surprisingly serious and truly emotional note.

After such a thrilling start, it was difficult not to wonder whether the rest of the selection could possibly match it, and it has to be said that on the whole this year’s Berlinale was fairly downbeat and uneventful. Despite this, there were pleasures to be had: although not quite on the same level of inventiveness as Love Exposure, there was something disturbingly funny and compelling about seeing a baby sprout wings in Franí§ois Ozon’s bizarre new feature Ricky, one of the films competing for the Golden Bear. However, once again the true gems were to be found not in the official competition but in the Panorama and Forum sections. Take, for instance, When You’re Strange, Tom DiCillo’s insightful feature-length documentary, which explores the rise and fall of The Doors against the violent backdrop of the Vietnam War and the Nixon era. Incorporating previously unseen footage, it provides the first detailed record of the band’s early years on film, from their initial performances to Jim Morrison’s tragic death in Paris in 1971.

Also of note was the new film by Lucí­a Puenzo, the Argentine writer-director behind 2007’s well-received XXY: engaging and handsomely shot, The Fish Child (El Niño pez) mixed teenage romance and soft-centered thriller. This year’s Forum programme was dominated by four Korean productions, the most impressive of which was Baek Seung-bin’s debut feature Members of the Funeral (Jang-rae-sig-ui member), a quietly riveting and grimly funny drama. And the festival even offered a spot of Midnight Movie-type deviance with Dominic Murphy’s White Lightnin’, a phantasmagoric vision of the legendary ‘Dancing Outlaw’ Jesco White, who has spent most of his life battling madness, obsession and an uncontrollable wicked streak. Even though Murphy’s wild re-imagining of White’s story is at times somewhat over the top, White Lightnin’ was an enjoyable splash of cinematic ferocity, more of which would certainly be welcome in future editions of the Berlinale.

Pamela Jahn

Explore the alternative side of the Berlin film scene with our online feature on Julia Ostertag’s DIY punk film Saila or read an article on Berlin squat cinema in the new print issue of Electric Sheep. Our spring issue focuses on Tainted Love to celebrate the release of the sweet and bloody pre-teen vampire romance Let the Right One In, with articles on incestuous cinematic siblings, Franí§ois Ozon‘s tales of tortuous relationships, destructive passion in Nic Roeg‘s Bad Timing, Julio Medem‘s ambiguous lovers and nihilistic tenderness from Kí´ji Wakamatsu. Also in this issue: Interview with Pascal Laugier (Martyrs), the Polish New Wave that never existed and comic strip on the Watchmen film adaptation + much more!


Julia Ostertag is an underground filmmaker from Berlin on a mission to challenge representations of female characters in film, particularly those that are violent and sexualised. Coming from an art school background and finding her early influences in the cinema of transgression, she is a filmmaker whose work elicits a love or hate reaction from the audience. She delights in provocation, and her first feature Saila is further proof of this.

Ostertag recently screened Saila at Schnarup-Thumby, a tight-knit Berlin squat with a strict ‘no photography’ policy – a somewhat different venue to those chosen for the L’Oréal-sponsored 59th Berlinale which opened a few weeks later. The squat provided a particularly intense and appropriate atmosphere for a chat with Ostertag about the film and her intentions. The screening brought together the voluntary and largely amateur team that comprised Saila’s cast and crew for a manic and rewarding evening, which for Ostertag ‘mirrored the two-and-a-half-year filmmaking process itself’.

Saila centres on the title character, a dreadlocked outsider searching for a ‘lost memory’ in an increasingly violent ‘Berlin punk dystopia’, where time and space no longer appear to obey conventional rules. Through a bewildering cycle of psychosexual visions and phantasms, Saila discovers her own violent truth. As Ostertag explains, it could be described as a ‘female revenge film without a specific reason for the revenge’. One of the most dynamic elements of the film is its unpredictability. Ostertag feels that this may come from the challenging method in which it was shot: ‘neither the actors nor myself knew where the journey would take us’, she explains. ‘It was a total challenge and very different from the other shorts and docos I’ve done’, she says, referring to the spontaneous performances and to the unstructured nature of the narrative.

Saila was shot guerilla-style within urban Berlin, in abandoned warehouses, decrepit apartment blocks and industrial wastelands. This shooting style was only made possible through working with a team that knew this side of Berlin from experience – the film’s locations are situated in parts of the city that are completely off the radar for the majority of the Berlin film industry. Ostertag’s choices have paid off handsomely: although set for the most part in a fantastical post-apocalyptic future, the film displays an authenticity and genuinely punk sensibility that is impossible to feign.

The film has been described as ‘probably the Berlin Punk film right now’ and a must-see ‘if you care about the Berlin D.I.Y. scene at all’ (Andreas Michalke, 26 November 2008, Through Saila and her previous films, particularly documentary Gender X (Berlinale 2005) and experimental short Sex Junkie (2003), Ostertag has placed herself at the dark, pulsing heart of Berlin’s underground film scene. Her bold representations of female sexuality and the unashamed insertion of her own personal concerns within these representations (including the decision to perform in the self-sexploitative lead role in Sex Junkie) certainly deserve our attention.

The filmmaker proclaims passionately that Saila and her other films aim to ‘question civilisation’, and that they could possibly provide some answers for ‘middle-class audiences coming to a crisis’. Her films represent characters who willingly thrust themselves at the fringes of society. Ostertag wants her work to provide an alternative in an industry which to her is all about ‘creating films for TV stations’. This ability to question and to challenge through her filmmaking shines through boldly in the complexity of her female characters.

Saila contains one of the bloodiest love scenes in cinema history. It is visually harsh and yet erotically charged, its intensity heightened through the awareness that we are watching local punks on screen, not professional actors. Ostertag points out that at no point did her non-actors feel that things were going too far: ‘Not everyone’s up to rolling around in broken glass. But my actors completely slipped into their roles and the broken glass and the filth never stopped them.’ In spite of the unpredictability of the journey she took her actors on, Ostertag did attempt to prepare them for their roles by showing them films such as Richard Kern’s Submit to Me Now (1987), chosen especially to help her actors discard any assumptions about acting ‘narratively’. Although there is no conventional narrative thread to guide us through the decaying dystopia, we feel compelled to continue through the dark by Saila herself, a damaged and fascinating female character, both fragile and vampy in equal amounts. It is Saila’s predatory side that ultimately wins out, which for Ostertag is the focal point of the story as well as what drove her to make the film.

Ostertag intended the character of Saila to represent a strong female identity, a female sexual fantasy even. Many women in the audience have told her that they find Saila’s character and her sexual encounters a strong turn-on. ‘It’s especially interesting that girls are getting turned on by the aggressive sex’, she says. ‘The way I picture sex is still an important thing for me. But I like it when girls also see the romantic side of the scenes and connect to them on a very strong emotional level.’ Ostertag points out that she has also heard the opposite point of view: some women find her approach to sexuality offensive and believe she is pushing things too far. This is the filmmaker’s response: ‘I can never figure out exactly what it is that they mean by “too far”. Maybe they think that girls are not allowed to have fun in that way, even when it is depicted from a girl’s point of view.’ Ostertag concedes that as a female director it is easier to push these kinds of representations of women further, that as a female you can generally ‘get away with more’. That said, Ostertag also admits that there are very few female directors working with these concerns, particularly in such a visually provocative way.

Siouxzi Mernagh

Want to find out more about the DIY cinema scene in Berlin? Read Siouxzi Mernagh’s article about Berlin squat cinema in the new print issue of Electric Sheep. Our spring issue focuses on Tainted Love to celebrate the release of the sweet and bloody pre-teen vampire romance Let the Right One In, with articles on incestuous cinematic siblings, Franí§ois Ozon‘s tales of tortuous relationships, destructive passion in Nic Roeg‘s Bad Timing, Julio Medem‘s ambiguous lovers and nihilistic tenderness from Kí´ji Wakamatsu. Also in this issue: Interview with Pascal Laugier (Martyrs), the Polish New Wave that never existed and comic strip on the Watchmen film adaptation + much more!


Il Divo

Format: Cinema

Release date: 20 March 2009

Venues: Curzons Mayfair and Soho, Renoir (London) and key cities

Distributor: Artificial Eye

Director: Paolo Sorrentinon

Writer: Paolo Sorrentino

Cast: Toni Servillo, Anna Bonaiuto, Giulio Bosetti, Flavio Bucci

Italy 2008

117 mins

Best known for his impeccably stylish modern noir The Consequences of Love (2004), Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film, Il Divo, reunites him with his Consequences star, Toni Servillo, and together they revisit the subject of Mafia involvement in Italian life. However, this time the action centres around a figure from the real world, seven-time Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who was tried on multiple occasions for murder and corruption, but never convicted. Alexander Pashby spoke to Paolo Sorrentino during the London Film Festival in 2008.

Alexander Pashby: What was the inspiration behind Il Divo?

Paolo Sorrentino: The idea was to make a film about a character who had accompanied the lives of the Italian people for such a long time. It was something that I’d had in mind from the very beginning, when I started to enjoy cinema. And I decided to do it now because I could afford the luxury of taking a little time. There was no guarantee that I would actually be able to get this project together. I knew that it would be difficult to get funding, but at this stage of my career, it was a risk that I could take. If it wasn’t a particularly successful project, it was not going to be a disaster.

AP: Is that because of the success of Consequences?

PS: It’s really more a case of… When you want to make films, when you haven’t yet done so, you have this sense of urgency. When you’ve actually achieved your objective and made a couple of films, that degree of urgency is reduced. So there’s not that same driving need to make them relentlessly, one after the other.

AP: Andreotti is a popular author in his own right, there’s a wealth of academic writing about him and of course you lived through the events depicted in the film. How did you go about approaching…

PS: … the mass of material? Well, there was quite a lot of study and work involved, probably because I like studying. For Consequences I set myself the task of studying all the mass of material about the Mafia.

AP:I love the scene in Consequences where Toni Servillo’s character is taken to Mafia headquarters and you can really believe that every extra he passes is a member of the Mafia just from the way they look.

PS:Exactly. And in order to get there, you have to study. You have to deal with things that are real, and you have to keep to the facts otherwise you will be accused and exposed. And those true things also have to be material that is appropriate to be filmed. Not everything that is true in life is true on film. And so the difficulty with Il Divo was in the selection of the material and how to make everything fit. Because although the film takes things from reality, it becomes borderline once it’s on screen and it tends to tip over into the grotesque.

AP:Irony is very important to you, isn’t it? And the grotesque is linked to that…

PS:Yes, I always look for irony. The biography of Andreotti is the story of a man who makes an enormous use of irony himself. So it is a part of his way of dealing with things in the film. And then there’s the whole process of transforming reality into cinema reality, being distorted and turning into the grotesque. You could use the example of the scene with the cat. A man who encounters a cat, there’s nothing ironic about it, it’s a normal thing. But put it on the screen and this sort of distortion that the process imposes makes it tip over into the grotesque. That’s when you get the irony.

AP:This is the third time you’ve worked with Servillo now [the first being 2001’s One Man Up]. What’s it like working together?

PS:I wouldn’t really know how to describe it now because, having known each other for such a long time, the whole process is sort of an automatic thing. But it’s based on the fact that we get along very well. We share the same sort of ideas. We have a common view of things and that’s very, very useful.

AP:Your cinematography is very dynamic and your composition very precise. Where does that come from?

PS:I would say that it comes from what I like as a spectator. Reality is fairly random and imprecise, and if I were to make a film in which I presented something that is as imprecise and as random to my viewers, I would be afraid of boring them. So I prefer to make a film in which reality is real, but it’s also something else, and that other thing is, more or less, how I would like it to be.

Interview by Alexander Pashby



Birmingham, UK, various venues

11-15 March 2009


Do you remember receiving your all-time favourite compilation tape? It’s the middle of a never-ending suburban summer and you’ve just been presented with a freshly biroed track-list: an enticing roll-call of little-known B-sides and bootlegs; an exotic list of unfamiliar names and titles. Looking down at the carefully considered recommendations, you might not be able to sing along just yet but instinctively you know you’re going to love it. I’m reminded of this feeling when I meet Pip McKnight and Ian Francis, the organisers of Birmingham’s Flatpack film festival. Sitting in a café near New Street station, I’m looking through copies of their exquisitely designed festival programmes, all lovingly put together by their designer, Dave Gaskarth. They read like beautiful fanzines about rare internet shorts and breakthrough animations, about lost figures from cinema past and surreal vaudeville cabaret acts. The choices can be obscure but, like a finely crafted mixtape, there’s an inclusive and infectious enthusiasm: like friends itching to share their latest find with you.

Film graduate Ian and ex-community worker Pip first started out six years ago, putting on local film nights under the name of 7 Inch Cinema. The nights continue across Birmingham, filling pubs with eccentric bedroom animation, music video mash-ups and vintage newsreels. Building on the success of these screenings, they started to make guest appearances at festivals, showcasing their unique cinematic discoveries. Over the past 12 months, gigs have ranged from the esoteric, such as a weekend of knitting-related shorts at Warwickshire gallery Compton Verney, to mass shindigs at music festivals, including Supersonic and Green Man.

Having dipped their toes into the world of festivals (Ian also did a stint at the Birmingham Film Festival), setting up Flatpack seemed the next logical step. The somewhat unusual name came from a desire to show that ‘putting on a film show or making your own short film is not rocket science’ but, as Ian attests, organising a festival can also be bloody hard work: ‘If this festival were available to buy as a build-it-yourself cultural happening, it would come in the kind of kit that has instructions in Swedish and several vital components missing’. Working most of the year as a two-person-band from Birmingham’s cultural hub, The Custard Factory, Pip and Ian dedicate a huge amount of energy into making Flatpack a success. They certainly achieved their aim with the first two editions of the festival: a wonderfully eclectic blend of film shows and live acts, which attracted audience members from as far away as Israel. However, after the second festival in 2007, Pip and Ian grew fed up with ‘hand-to-mouth funding’ and made the ‘big decision’ to take a year out. Ian tells me that they concentrated their energies on finding some stability and creating a ‘three-year plan’ for the festival. Having secured UK Film Council funding during their break, 2009 sees the return of the festival and what Ian describes as a ‘step up in ambition’.

Although pleased to have safeguarded the festival, Pip and Ian are keen to keep it as ‘un-schmoozy’ as possible. They seem refreshingly adamant about not compromising their vision or falling into the trap of becoming too industry-focused. The tenacity of Flatpack is much needed at a time when so much festival and cinema programming is dictated by distributors. Ian and Pip want to move beyond the usual festival-going demographic and love the idea of people stumbling across the screenings by accident. They have planned installations in shops throughout the city – a paper trail of screen-based artworks – that aim to draw in unsuspecting shoppers, workers and tourists.

Given this dissident streak, Pip and Ian are particularly attracted to the eccentric entrepreneurs of early cinema. The patron saint of this year’s festival is Waller Jeffs: Birmingham’s answer to Mitchell & Kenyon. A cinematic impresario, Jeffs staged a series of film seasons (1901 – 1912) at the city’s Curzon Hall, with live sound effects and a menagerie of novelty acts (‘Unthan, the Armless Wonder’ and ‘Cyrus and Maud and their Educated Donkey’). Flatpack will kick off at Birmingham’s town hall with a selection of Jeffs’s films, accompanied by a 15-piece gypsy folk band, The Destroyers. Throughout our conversation, Pip and Ian speak excitedly about the ‘Wild West atmosphere’ of early 1900s cinema: a time when everything was new and anything was possible; a time when the audience had no boundaries and would openly react to screenings, rather than sitting in reverential silence.

This sense of drama and interaction crops up throughout the selection for Flatpack 2009, particularly in the children’s programme. Inspired by the surrealist Exquisite Corpse (‘cadavre exquis’) game, there will be a chance for groups of children to make and pass on short segments of film for others to complete. Pip and Ian themselves are particularly looking forward to Paper Cinema, a live-action treat that sees illustrator Nic Rawling moving paper cut-outs in front of a camera, making fairy tale films before the viewers’ very eyes. After Flatpack, the children’s programme will be touring Midlands schools in an attempt to move beyond the limited pool of children attending art-house cinemas.

Setting is a vital component of the Flatpack experience and Pip and Ian have devoted a lot of energy to finding exciting new venues for this year’s festival. Bringing in local set design students, they are currently decking out a dilapidated warehouse and hoping to commission murals to complement their street art film strand. This includes the award-winning Megunica, which follows Italian artist Blu; In A Dream, a portrait of legendary Philadelphian mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar; and Who is Bozo Texino?, a film about railroad graffiti that was an impressive 16 years in the making.

Pip and Ian evidently have big plans for the festival, hoping not only to raise the cultural profile of Birmingham, which, they say, needs to be better at ‘shouting about its achievements’, but also by creating a gathering point for people to experience film in a new and exciting way. And yet, when I ask them to sum up Flatpack, it’s not easy to get a direct answer. As Ian says: ‘We’ve had a job explaining what this festival is, even to ourselves at times’. It cannot be neatly encapsulated in a ‘marketing speak’ sentence. The programme is radically eclectic and, simultaneously, pleasingly cohesive. Like the perfect mixtape, the choices jump from era to era and genre to genre, yet perfectly segue into one another. You’re not quite sure how or why the selection works, but that is what makes it precisely so magical.

Eleanor McKeown


Ipso Facto

Photo by Pavla Kopecna

London four-piece Ipso Facto have been described as ‘monochrome psychedelia’ due to their stark, dark take on garage rock and their distinctive, retro black and white image. Having recently toured with The Last Shadow Puppets, they also scooped the coveted support slot for the seminal post-punk band Magazine’s reunion tour in February 09. Their single ‘6 & ¾’ is out now on the Mute Irregulars label. Rosalie Cunningham (vocals / guitar), Cherish Kaya (keyboards), Samantha Valentine (bass) and Victoria Smith (drums) offer up some of their cinematic highlights. For more information visit their MySpace. LUCY HURST


1- Irréversible (2002)
In Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible, the events of one traumatic night appear in reverse chronological order. It is one of the most horrifically brutal and memorable films I have ever seen – never before has a film made me physically sick. The first half hour has a background noise with a frequency of 28Hz (low frequency, almost inaudible), which causes nausea, sickness and vertigo in humans. The underlying theme of ‘le temps détruit tout’ (time destroys everything) is eerily present and a constant reminder that you should be grateful for everything you have, love and cherish. A lot of the film was improvised, which gives it a real edge, especially the 13-minute rape scene, which I still have not been able to watch the whole way through.

2- Cry Baby (1990)
I love anything by John Waters but the fact that this stars Johnny Depp swung the vote! Set in Baltimore (as always) in the 1950s, it is a classic struggle between the rebels (Drapes) and the Squares, with the Square Girl wanting to become a Drape. The film provides a cheeky two fingers up to the closed-minded prejudices and attitudes that pervade society, whatever the era. TRIVIA: Waters originally wanted Tom Cruise for the lead role, but let’s all thank god he changed his mind.


3- Inland Empire (2006)
I love all David Lynch films – I love the themes, the surrealism, the way they are shot, the actors and Lynch himself. Inland Empire is my favourite, even though I had to watch it three times before I got past the first half hour, which is incredibly dark and unsettling. People try to guess the meaning and the secret behind the film and Lynch feeds this by giving out ‘clues’ in press releases, which confuses people even more. I find this hilarious – I think he enjoys winding us all up.

4- Adaptation (2002)
In a way, this film is quite similar to Inland Empire; both are set in Hollywood and merge the imaginary with reality. This film was made by the same writer/director team (Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman) as Being John Malkovich (another favourite of mine) and shares the same strange humour.


5- American Psycho (2000)
I love this controversial film, based on the Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, which shows the protagonist Patrick Bateman’s spiralling descent into madness. The contrast between his day-to-day working life and his foray into gruesome murder after nightfall is acted brilliantly by Christian Bale (one of my top 10 actors). My favourite quotes in the film are the opening and closing sentences: ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’ and ‘This is not an exit’.

6- Eraserhead (1977)
David Lynch, a favourite of mine, directed this baffling surreal horror film. It troubled me, yet I felt the need to watch it over and over again. The lighting and setting alone made me feel uneasy but I still felt sympathy for each character.


7- Gummo (1997)
This was the first script written by Harmony Korine after Kids in 1995, allowing him to explore alternative cultures further. Although Gummo‘s vignettes defy a linear plot, the depiction of small-town isolation and surreal abnormalities is disturbingly enthralling. The unique costume design by actress Chloí« Sevigny and the film’s comment on the weird and wonderful ways of small-town life make Gummo unforgettable.

8- Donnie Darko (2001)
This cult classic fascinated me from the first time I watched it at the tender age of 15. I was a bit of a geek and a science fiction fiend at this point, so I found the intertwining cause-and-reaction that created the possibility for time travel amazing. It’s the story of an intelligent, frustrated schoolboy who, after a near-death experience, starts to see something dark in his future through a series of vivid, surreal dreams. As a result, every subsequent event is connected to the premonition of his death and his inevitable fate. There are many ways to interpret the ending, all of which are fascinating.