The Bothersome Man

The Bothersome Man
Den brysomme mannen
Directed by Jens Lien
Produced by Jørgen Storm Rosenberg
Written by Per H. V. Schreiner
Starring Trond Fausa Aurvåg
Petronella Barker
Per Schaaning
Birgitte Larsen
Johannes Joner
Music by Ginge Anvik
Editing by Vidar Flataukan
Distributed by Sandrew Metronome Norge A/S
Release date(s) Norway: 26 May 2006
Running time 95 min.
Country Norway
Language Norwegian
Budget NOK 14,000,000 (estimated)[1]

The Bothersome Man (Norwegian: Den brysomme mannen) is a Norwegian film from 2006. It was directed by Jens Lien after a script by Per H. V. Schreiner. In the main roles were Trond Fausa Aurvåg, Petronella Barker and Per Schaaning. The story is about a man suddenly finding himself in an outwardly perfect, yet essentially soulless dystopia, and his attempt to escape. The film was well received by critics, and was awarded three Amanda Awards in 2006.



As the movie begins, Andreas Ramsfjell (Trond Fausa Aurvåg) is underground in a train station watching a couple kiss; however, the kiss lacks any sign of aesthetics - on the contrary, it looks hideous and abominable. Andreas seems to be increasingly unsettled until eventually he steps forward and jumps off the track in front of a subway train and the scene abruptly ends. When he awakes he is on a bus which lets him off at a deserted gas station in the middle of nowhere. An older man greets Andreas with a welcome sign and escorts him into a car. From here he makes his way into an ideal city, where he soon finds himself with a corporate job, a furnished apartment and a beautiful girlfriend (Petronella Barker). The seemingly perfect life soon proves to be vacuous. Andreas seems to be the only person in the city capable of experiencing sensation and emotion. The only respite from the emptiness is a meaningless materialism. As the slightly uncomfortable turns into the absurd, Andreas tries to escape, but finds there is no way out of the city. Not even suicide. Eventually he meets Hugo (Per Schaaning), a cleaner who has found a crack in the walls of his basement from which lovely music streams out. The two dig frantically, in secret, through the wall and discover it leads into a house, presumably back in the real world. Andreas manages to get his arm into the house and grabs a handful of cake from the table, but both of them are caught and dragged out of the basement. Andreas gets thrown out of the city on the same bus that brought him there. The film ends with a violent ride into a frozen wasteland where the bus leaves Andreas, bewildered, distraught and alone.


  • Andreas – Trond Fausa Aurvåg
  • Anne Britt – Petronella Barker
  • Hugo – Per Schaaning
  • Ingeborg – Birgitte Larsen
  • Håvard – Johannes Joner
  • Trulsen – Ellen Horn
  • Harald – Anders T. Andersen
  • Liten Mann – Sigve Bøe
  • Vigdis – Hanne Lindbæk
  • Colleague 1 – Ivar Lykke


The story for the film was originally written for radio theatre, two years before it was adapted for the screen.[2] Director Jens Lien tells that he was very affected by Schreiner's script, and that the first time he read it he was unable to sleep.[3] Schreiner and Lien had earlier collaborated on short films, but this was the first feature-length movie they made together.[2] The movie was chosen for the Critic's Week of the Cannes Film Festival, and jury member Christophe Leparc expressed great admiration for the film.[3] The "lovely music" in the basement is actually a recording made for by theremin veteran Howard Mossman, who remains uncredited.[4]


Den brysomme mannen was generally very well received by the Norwegian press. The newspaper Aftenposten awarded five out of six points, calling the movie "advanced" and filled with literary and filmatic references, yet not without a wider appeal.[5] The television station NRK also ended up on five, calling the film thought-provoking and funny, and "very, very good".[6]

International reviews were good. Steve Rose, writing for The Guardian, gave it three out of five stars. Noting the cultural references to other dystopic works, he complained that the movie failed to get "beneath the surface of this shallow parallel reality".[7] The A.V. Club's Noel Murray called the movie "paced and plotted well throughout", though he felt it veered "too far into fantasyland" towards the end.[8]

The film was awarded three Amandas in 2006: for "Best Direction", "Best Screenplay" and "Best Actor" (Aurvåg). It was also nominated in the categories "Best Film" and "Best Actress" (Barker).[9] The movie also won several international awards, including the ACID Award (Agence du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion) at the Cannes Film Festival,[9] and the Golden Starfish at the Hampton International film festival.


The film heavily features music by Edvard Grieg. The score is composed by the Norwegian composer Ginge.


The volcanic desert scenes were shot in Iceland (source - director q&a on youtube)


External links

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