The Final Member | Chicago Reader

The Final Member

Have you ever seen a sperm whale's penis? It's the size of a tree trunk. The Icelandic Phallogical Museum has one, along with hundreds of other animal specimens collected by founder Sigurdur Hjartson, but this documentary by Zach Math and Jonah Bekhor centers on his quest for a human sample. On-screen this registers as an endless wait for either a revered Icelandic eccentric to die or a seemingly unbalanced American eccentric to cut off his junk (which he calls "Elmo") and ship it express. The friction between the three dissimilar personalities generates some fun moments (a barrage of strange and graphic e-mails begins to persuade the agreeable Hjartson that the American is off his rocker), but the directors' heavy-handed treatment of the museum proprietor's health problems near the end distracts from their entertaining exploration of each character's phallic fixation. In English and subtitled Icelandic.

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