Blu-ray Review: Sick of Myself

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Ever stuck with a person who has to be the center of attention even though they’re so boring? They enjoy oversharing their vapid life via various social media platforms. They want to look like they have their own reality show? In person, they’ll go to any length to dominate the conversation. I remember one person at a dinner party who had to go into a deep description of their gastrointestinal issues for 15 minutes. They just couldn’t stop getting graphic while I attempted digest my food. I had to be polite and can’t tell them to shut up since it was their birthday. Sick of Myself is about someone who goes to an extreme in order to be the center of the universe.

Signe (Kristine Kujath Thorp) feels forgettable next to her boyfriend Thomas (Eirik Sæther). For her birthday he takes her to a fancy restaurant and orders a bottle of wine that’s $3,500. While she’s outside to take a phone call, Thomas grabs the bottle and dashes. The waiter chases after him, but can’t catch up. Even though the waiter sees Signe, he walks past her as if he’d forgotten she was eating with Thomas and could be charged for the expensive meal. She gets even more ignored as Thomas becomes a sensation in Norway’s artworld. He creates sculptures out of stolen furniture. He scores a major interview and cover of the art magazine. Everyone wants to talk with him. Even when she saves someone’s life at her cafe, nobody cares that much. Finally in desperation and grotesque inspiration, Signe decides to get an unusual illness to attract attention. She finds out about a Russian anti-anxiety medicine that has been recalled because it causes a nasty skin disease. She has a pal order in the pills off the Dark Web. While she breaks out in a slight skin disease and has to go to the hospital, her boyfriend forgets about picking her up at the hospital when he gets more attention. This drives her to down the entire bottle. The results are extreme. The disfigurement finally gets her as much attention as her boyfriend in Norwegian media as she “battles” the mystery skin disease. But how long can her new fame last as her body keeps deteriorating from the growign number of side effects? Is she going to melt away from narcissism?

Sick of Myself is dazzling dark comedy that’s perfect in these selfie worshipping times. Signe is so fixated on being more famous than her boyfriend. There’s a telling moment when she gets upset because her friends don’t think her “battle” with the aliment more important than their life. Having been around people like Signe (although not that desperate), writer/director Kristoffer Borgli nails them. Even though it is sad and gross, you help laughing as her face erupts from the pill abuse. Her self-centered nature keeps her being viewed as a victim. The real victims are anyone within ear range of her.

This is an astonishingly great debut from Kristoffer Borgli. This gets deep into is the extremes people will go to boost their clicks and hits on TikTok, Youtube, Instagram and all those other sites aimed at creating fame on a smartphone’s selfie mode. Rightfully the film played at Cannes. During one scene, Signe wears a Cannes film festival t-shirt. This must have gotten a few laughs at the festival. Sick of Myself is a great film to watch with someone who really loves themself.

The Video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The film was originally shot on 35mm film so the transfer has that sweet grain. The Audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1. Surround soundtrack in Norwegian. There’s also a 2.0 DTS-HD MA Norwegian soundtrack. The film is subtitled in Norwegian.

Commentary track with writer/director/editor Kristoffer Borgli gets into how he went from smaller projects to his first feature film. He discusses his cast and their history including the waiter in the opening scene. He talks about shooting on 35mm.

Negative Impulses (22:18) interviews with Kristoffer Borgli writer/director/editor. He learned what a director was while working at a video store when he was 15. He got into David Lynch. He did music videos and shorts before he starting the script for Sick of Myself in 2017. He got financing in 2021 to shoot the film. The fashion industry got him creatively interested in the story. He does the interview in English.

So, So, So Toxic (19:01) gets actress Kristine Kujath Thorp to talk about approaching such a narcissistic character that will go to extreme lengths for attention. She was a fan of Borgli’s music videos and wrote him a fan letter asking to work for him. Ten years later she auditioned for the role of Signe. The casting process took years because of the pandemic. This is in English.

A Skewed View (15:15) steals some time with actor Eirik Sæther. He is a friend of Borgli and was cast early on. A few of his early adventures ended up in the script. He found the script hilarious and spot on. He sees the film as a comedy.

Living Sculptures (18:09) meets up with Prosthetic makeup artist Izzi Galindo. He came early onto the film to do proof of concept makeup before COVID. He tested on a friend. The make up was done for five different stages.

Eer (8:55) is a short film written & directed by Kristoffer Borgli. He plays a screenwriter with a messed up ear. It looks like he made it in Los Angeles since there’s a Ralph’s supermarket and it features Ali Shawcat from Arrested Development.

Abject Bodies in Transgressive Arthouse Cinema (15:41) is a video essay by Samm Deighan about the use of bodies in films by John Waters, Doris Wishman and others. There’s a lot of great clips from underground films of the ’60s and ’70s. She relates them back to Sick of Myself.

Trailer (1:55) shows how Signe goes to an extreme for attention.

16-page booklet with essay by Sabini Stent.

Vinegar Syndrome presents Sick Of Myself. Directed by Kristoffer Borgli. Screenplay by Kristoffer Borgli. Starring Kristine Kujath Thorp, Eirik Saether and Fanny Vagger. Running Time: 97 minutes. Rating: Unrated. Release Date: May 30, 2023.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.