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Persona

Melancholia

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I guess it is a generalization on my part to lump all critics in the anti-LvT mode, and maybe I am being unclear here (it certainly wouldn't be the first time!), but I did not realize you included yourself in his camp. Which is only another reason to like you more. So don't blow it in your next response, turncoat. ;)

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Looks great. I go back and forth on whether I think Von Trier is great or not, but I watched EUROPA (ZENTROPA) last month and am back in the "great" camp at the moment.

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That trailer has definitely launched it onto my must-see list.

Edited by Ryan H.

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That trailer has definitely launched it onto my must-see list.

Strange. It kinda did the opposite for me!

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That trailer has definitely launched it onto my must-see list.

Strange. It kinda did the opposite for me!

Sue me, but I'm a sucker for beautiful cinematography, and MELANCHOLIA looks gorgeous.

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That trailer has definitely launched it onto my must-see list.

Strange. It kinda did the opposite for me!

Sue me, but I'm a sucker for beautiful cinematography, and MELANCHOLIA looks gorgeous.

In other words, it looks like a LvT film.

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I just noticed that Udo Kier's role in the movie is "Wedding Planner."

Only in LvT.

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In other words, it looks like a LvT film.

Eh, LvT has made some not-so-attractive films.

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In other words, it looks like a LvT film.

Eh, LvT has made some not-so-attractive films.

Only one that I know of, which wasn't his fault, it can be blamed on Automavision.

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In other words, it looks like a LvT film.

Eh, LvT has made some not-so-attractive films.

Only one that I know of, which wasn't his fault, it can be blamed on Automavision.

One that comes to mind: DANCER IN THE DARK.

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In other words, it looks like a LvT film.

Eh, LvT has made some not-so-attractive films.

Only one that I know of, which wasn't his fault, it can be blamed on Automavision.

One that comes to mind: DANCER IN THE DARK.

That is an interesting claim, one which isn't typical as a reason to dislike the film. There are quite a few reasons I've seen over the years for people that DO dislike the film, but I don't remember too many people talking about the actual look, unless referring to the style itself. (Which most confuse as dogme, even though The Idiots is the only certified dogme film in the Golden Heart trilogy.)

I can't disagree with you though, only because it has been a decade or more since I've actually sat down and watched Dancer in the Dark. It's a film that I was thoroughly immersed in, but haven't had a desire to go back and see, mostly due to its ending. (I would like to see quite a few of the musical numbers sometime again.)

Edited by Persona

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Reviews are trickling in. This time, nobody seems outraged about the film, from what I can tell. The biggest controversy seems to be over some remarks Von Trier made about "understanding" Adolf Hitler during the press conference.

Dave Calhoun:

‘Melancholia’ isn’t a provocative or confrontational film but it’s too often a dull one. Von Trier takes his title at face value and infuses his film with a laidback, removed air, too free of real ideas, in contrast to the careful working of his imagery. That’s what’s really depressing.

Sukhdev Sandhu:

For a filmmaker often labelled a showman or ringmaster, Lars Von Trier has a peculiar approach to talking up his work. Ahead of this morning’s Competition premiere of Melancholia, which at times comes close to being a tragi-comic opera about the end of the world, he declared: “I may have made a film I don’t like.” Why? Because, he added, “This film is perilously close to the aesthetic of American mainstream films.”

Really? Only in the happily perverse head of the director of Breaking The Waves and the 2000 Palme d’Or-winning Dancer In the Dark, could Melancholia be seen as safe or traditional. It takes a baffling, almost bone-headed premise, the stuff of schlocky genre movies, and from it creates a mesmerizing, visually gorgeous and often-moving alloy of family drama, philosophical meditation and anti-golfing tract.

Eric Kohn:

Nothing in “Melancholia” can match the dazzling momentum of its opening sequence, which has the visual splendor of expressionistic sci-fi and the refined look of a morbid fashion commercial. It’s also a handy guide to the ominous event that concludes the movie and haunts everything leading up to that point—namely, the end of the world. Revisiting the bleak tones of his last feature, “Antichrist” - which began with a similarly hyper-stylized prologue - Von Trier has constructed a mesmerizing elaboration on his favorite motifs, masterfully elevating them to an epic scale.

Edited by Ryan H.

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More on Von Trier's troublemaking press conference from Pete Hammond:

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I've seen reviews calling this Lars von Trier's "best" and most "restrained" film since Europa (1991) ... which is a film that I have not yet seen. (The earliest von Trier that I've seen is The Kingdom (1994).) Still, sounds interesting!

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More on Von Trier's troublemaking press conference from Pete Hammond:

If you actually watch the press conference, it's pretty clear Von Trier was just joking around. Maybe these jokes were in bad taste, but nobody should be taking these comments seriously.

Still, sounds interesting!

Sure does.

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I've seen reviews calling this Lars von Trier's "best" and most "restrained" film since Europa (1991) ... which is a film that I have not yet seen. (The earliest von Trier that I've seen is The Kingdom (1994).) Still, sounds interesting!

You should check out EUROPA. I think it's probably my favourite Von Trier film. This bodes well for my enjoying MELANCHOLIA.

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More on Von Trier's troublemaking press conference from Pete Hammond:

If you actually watch the press conference, it's pretty clear Von Trier was just joking around. Maybe these jokes were in bad taste, but nobody should be taking these comments seriously.

FWIW, I read that Kirsten Dunst told the press after the conference that Von Trier was being completely serious. But he's become deliberately outrageous to the point where the only thing one can do is refuse to take his behavior and sayings at face value. I must say, I enjoyed reading about the press conference more than I have any other Cannes-related coverage this year, much of which has been quite good.

As for his vow to make a porno film, hasn't he been vowing that for years? I'm thinking this "promise" preceded "The Idiots," which I never saw but remember wondering, after its release, if it was the film Von Trier referred to.

I've seen reviews calling this Lars von Trier's "best" and most "restrained" film since Europa (1991) ... which is a film that I have not yet seen. (The earliest von Trier that I've seen is The Kingdom (1994).) Still, sounds interesting!

You should check out EUROPA. I think it's probably my favourite Von Trier film. This bodes well for my enjoying MELANCHOLIA.

Yes, Zentropa was my favorite Von Trier film for years. I'm not sure it still is. The last time I saw it it failed to cast the spell over me it once had. But it's pretty great.

Edited by Christian

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I've seen reviews calling this Lars von Trier's "best" and most "restrained" film since Europa (1991) ... which is a film that I have not yet seen. (The earliest von Trier that I've seen is The Kingdom (1994).) Still, sounds interesting!

You should check out EUROPA. I think it's probably my favourite Von Trier film. This bodes well for my enjoying MELANCHOLIA.

Yes, Zentropa was my favorite Von Trier film for years. I'm not sure it still is. The last time I saw it it failed to cast the spell over me it once had. But it's pretty great.

I need to revisit EUROPA/ZENTROPA.

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I've seen reviews calling this Lars von Trier's "best" and most "restrained" film since Europa (1991) ... which is a film that I have not yet seen. (The earliest von Trier that I've seen is The Kingdom (1994).) Still, sounds interesting!

You should check out EUROPA. I think it's probably my favourite Von Trier film. This bodes well for my enjoying MELANCHOLIA.

Yes, Zentropa was my favorite Von Trier film for years. I'm not sure it still is. The last time I saw it it failed to cast the spell over me it once had. But it's pretty great.

I need to revisit EUROPA/ZENTROPA.

It's streaming on Netflix, along with several other LtV movies.

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Glenn Heath Jr.:

Von Trier avoids antagonizing the viewer with his usual gut-punch theatrics, settling down for a story about colliding worlds, breaking façades, and shifting alliances. The relationships we carry on our shoulders are so heavy the world can literally split apart from the pressure, and there's nothing like a gigantic blue orb to put specific burdens in perspective.
Melancholia
finds solace in this respect by dismantling the ways expressions of love, commitment, and family can fail. The hovering balloon lanterns incinerating in the sky, an ignored photograph of a ranch, and dismantled vows are signals of an emotional world shifting off its axis. These are von Trier's cinematic cave paintings to a pulverizing overture of calamity.
Melancholia
descends calmly into the fiery red night with an unnerving grace only von Trier could conjure. Life on Earth may be evil, as Justine resolutely confesses in a sobering monologue to Claire, but there's hope in the mortal resignation that there might be a chance to start again, somewhere ethereal beyond the scope of cinema.

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Again, my friend in Cannes, offering his highest score of the fest by nearly two points:

Melancholia (8.6) - don't need controversy to make a great film, and this one is stellar (har har). Melancholia not about apocalypse, but rejecting preciousness to achieve real happiness; good idea to screen it after Tree of Life.

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Dunst, seated beside Von Trier while facing the Cannes press, reacts to his statements.

Oh, haven't we all had moments like this one?

kd-awkward.gif

Edited by Overstreet

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More on Von Trier's troublemaking press conference from Pete Hammond:

If you actually watch the press conference, it's pretty clear Von Trier was just joking around. Maybe these jokes were in bad taste, but nobody should be taking these comments seriously.

And now he's banned from the festival.

Really, the whole thing reminds me of Dylan's famous declaration that he could sympathize with Kennedy's assassin, except that Von Trier seemed to realize while he was talking how tasteless his comments were and tried--at least, halfheartedly--to backpedal. But even in the scheme of tasteless-Nazi-symathizer jokes, Von Trier's comments strike me as pretty tame. Perhaps not defensible, but nothing on the level of--say--dressing up as a Nazi for a costume party.

Edited by NBooth

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