A critique of “Tiger in Paradise” – José González presents stress-inducing visions as a trendy lifestyle.


This documentary showcases Swedish singer-songwriter José González, also known for being a member of the band Junip. It has elements of a home video for devoted González fans, a demonstration of visual effects techniques, and a promotional video for a leisure and home goods brand with a Scandinavian aesthetic. The film is visually unstructured and features footage of González in his daily life, including reading, exercising, and enjoying the beautiful Swedish countryside where he resides in a stunning home. We also catch glimpses of his pregnant partner Hannele Fernström, an illustrator and designer, as she rests and reads. At times, we see their young daughter Laura playing in the grass and sunlight, dressed in adorable Scandinavian children’s clothing and charmingly babbling.

Under these sequences, González can be heard reflecting on his delicate mental state, his thoughts on family life, and his worries about the future of the world. There are moments where he strums his gentle, Elliott Smith-inspired, Nick Drake-esque melodies on an acoustic guitar, which are pleasant but somewhat lacking in depth. Interwoven with these scenes are shots created by director Mikel Cee Karlsson, featuring actors moving in slow motion or glitching as if trapped in fermatas, repeating movements that capture feelings of celebration, happiness, or, as the title suggests, being attacked by a CGI tiger that rips off one unfortunate character’s leg.

It’s not clear what ties all of the above together apart from the sense of catastrophising fretfulness evoked in González’s music. But it’s all quite lovely to look at or even just listened to, making for something that can easily be experienced at home while the viewer is knitting or chopping vegetables.

Source: theguardian.com

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