919. The External World – David O’Reilly

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SUMMARY: A series of surreal events build up to create a gruelling image of the external world.

WHY IT’S HERE: David O’Reilly’s superb ‘The External World’ is a very different film from his previous ‘Please Say Something’, which mixed an absurdist concept with a contradictorily numbing emotional connection. Although the digital artwork is immediately recognisable as O’Reilly’s work, ‘The External World’ is at once a much funnier, more outrageous film which nevertheless retains the same overwhelmingly downbeat atmosphere as his previous film. Many have mentioned David Lynch as an apparent influence but for me this brought to mind the brilliant films of Roy Andersson, in that it presented a series of seemingly unrelated tragi-comic occurrences which somehow managed to build into a cohesive whole rather than seem like a sketch show. With a film as hilariously unpredictable as this it is pointless and detrimental to start listing scenes so I would just advise people to see it for themselves. It is a very divisive film but those who get it will probably adore it and while you can site reference points from Chris Morris to Bill Plympton to Luis Bunuel, in the end ‘The External World’ is uniquely O’Reilly’s vision.

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