The Final Member

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Paris has the Louvre. London has the Tate Modern, and New York the Metropolitan Museum. But Husavik, Iceland – a diminutive village on the fringe of the Arctic Circle – boasts the world’s only museum devoted exclusively to painstakingly preserved male genitalia. Founded and curated by Sigurður “Siggi” Hjartarson, the Icelandic Phallological Museum houses four decades worth of mammalian members, from a petite field mouse to the colossal sperm whale, and every “thing” in between. But, lamentably, Siggi’s collection lacks the holy grail of phallic phantasmagoria: a human specimen. Siggi’s world changes dramatically when he receives generous offers from a 95-year old Icelandic Casanova named Páll, who can think of no better way to enshrine his Casanova lifestyle than by contributing his well-worn love gun, and an eccentric (and highly patriotic) American named Tom, who feels strongly that the U.S. should be represented by his member, which he has affectionately named Elmo. However, as the competition for eternal penile preservation heats up between the two men, Siggi soon discovers that this process is more complicated than it initially appeared. In their debut feature film, Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math follow Siggi on his dogged, often emotional quest to complete his exhibition in a peculiar, yet startlingly relatable, story of self-fulfillment and the value of personal legacies (both big and small). Avoiding cheap jokes while effectively mining the odd humor inherent in the subject matter, The Final Member says much about the male psyche while attempting to answer the age old question, “Does size really matter?” (Dir. by Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math, 2013, Canada, 75 mins., Not Rated, Drafthouse Films) Digital