Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Persona

Melancholia

234 posts in this topic

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

And all anyone can talk about is the press conference. Years from now, maybe not even that long, people are going to watch Melancholia and wonder why it didn't win any major prizes at Cannes. (Assuming the movie is as good as some say it is, which isn't to say that it might not have superior competition.)

Edited by Christian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Von Trier is banned now? That's a little over-the-top, I'd say. I'd have sooner banned him for showing a film like ANTICHRIST there than any of his comments during the MELANCHOLIA press conference. ;)

But seriously, if MELANCHOLIA is as good as people are saying it is, it's a shame Von Trier's craziness is overshadowing the film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NBooth wrote:

: 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.

Not that dressing up as a Nazi for a costume party would have to signify Nazi sympathization, any more than dressing up as Darth Vader or a stormtrooper would signify Sith sympathization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Von Trier is banned now? That's a little over-the-top, I'd say. I'd have sooner banned him for showing a film like ANTICHRIST there than any of his comments during the MELANCHOLIA press conference. ;)

But seriously, if MELANCHOLIA is as good as people are saying it is, it's a shame Von Trier's craziness is overshadowing the film.

While I think it's a bit over the top as well (and that his comments were amazingly stupid), I can understand why a European community might react a bit more strongly than I.

Wait. If I say I understand something that I wouldn't necessarily agree with, will I be banned?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I say I understand something that I wouldn't necessarily agree with, will I be banned?

:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys missed the point. Cannes Schmannes, we all knew they were too uppity to understand sarcasm anyway. Or at the very least, borrowing from what SDG recently said about Herzog, "I'm never entirely sure whether he has a point to make or only a "point," i.e., whether he says what he says because it's what he really think or because he likes the effect of how it sounds." LvT has been provoking the Cannes crowd for years. Didn't he storm out after not winning for -- correct me if I'm wrong, I think it might have been Zentropa? And he launched dogme in the streets there, right? The origins of dogme are reactionary to the kinds of films he was writhing against at Cannes.

The point you missed is that the distributors have also dropped the film. So now we either never see it, or another company gets to benefit from Argentina Distribution Company's drop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The point you missed is that the distributors have also dropped the film. So now we either never see it, or another company gets to benefit from Argentina Distribution Company's drop.

I'm sure another company will pick it up. A film like MELANCHOLIA is too big to just fade into nothingness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I forgot to say that as a huge LvT fan, the news of his mouth was a real bummer on this occasion. I kinda thought that was a topic that, well, unless you're making a film called Inglourious Basterds, you keep a distance from. There's a "No poking" clause around it. It's a humane thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stef, where did you hear that Magnolia won't be distributing Melancholia? As far as I know, they still have the film in the States.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stef, where did you hear that Magnolia won't be distributing Melancholia? As far as I know, they still have the film in the States.

Oh.

The link above referred to a "Argentina Distribution Company" dropping the film. Perhaps that is only for Argentina. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Persona wrote:

: Also, I forgot to say that as a huge LvT fan, the news of his mouth was a real bummer on this occasion. I kinda thought that was a topic that, well, unless you're making a film called Inglourious Basterds, you keep a distance from. There's a "No poking" clause around it. It's a humane thing.

If I've pieced this together correctly, the starting point for all this is the fact that Lars said something about Richard Wagner and German romanticism in the press notes for Melancholia. Towards the end of the press conference, this prompted one reporter to ask about the "Gothic" influences on the film and/or von Trier. And this, in turn, got von Trier talking about the fact that he grew up thinking he was Jewish, and then he discovered late in life that his biological father was actually German, etc., etc. And apparently, if you believe what von Trier says, "Nazi" is just a common Danish slang term for "German" (and why shouldn't it be, given that the Germans occupied Denmark not too long before von Trier was born). And then, somewhere in there, von Trier made a few flip remarks about understanding Hitler (while disagreeing with what Hitler did) and liking the designs of Albert Speer, etc., etc.

So, some unresolved personal issues for von Trier + a taste for bad jokes + possible translation problems = big controversy.

But Cannes definitely overreacted -- perhaps understandably, given that festival chairman Gilles Jacob is apparently something of a Holocaust survivor himself. But still, an overreaction is an overreaction. And frankly, I can't help but be amused by the way von Trier's been handling the fallout.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And frankly, I can't help but be amused by the way von Trier's been handling the fallout.

I guess I'm not keeping up on the news, so since you know about the fallout and I don't, you gotta 'splain this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Persona wrote:

: I guess I'm not keeping up on the news, so since you know about the fallout and I don't, you gotta 'splain this.

Well, for starters, there was the way Lars said he should have realized how sensitive the topic is in France "because the French have a history of being extremely cruel to the Jews," and then there was the way he said "I'm not Mel Gibson," which nicely underscored the fact that he was being banned from the festival for making a bad joke about anti-Semitism whereas the festival was, At That Very Moment, on the verge of celebrating someone who is on the record as making genuinely anti-Semitic statements (and other kinds of racist statements).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And then there is his comment that Cannes is about cinema, not the tabloid-ish coverage about directors that has increased over the years. I am not sure what to make of this, as Lars himself was a big part of this shift in recent cinema culture with his Dogme tirade. He is such a perfect example of how schizophrenic festival coverage has become, if not an instigator. This year is a Gadamer nightmare, such that I won't actually be able to watch Melancholia when I get a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kirsten Dunst just won Best Actress at Cannes.

Wow.

To all who have told me that she can't act, I rest my case. I've liked her since Interview with the Vampire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. LvT is developing a habit of helping the WOMEN in his life to win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kirsten Dunst just won Best Actress at Cannes.

Wow.

To all who have told me that she can't act, I rest my case. I've liked her since Interview with the Vampire.

Von Trier could get a good performance out of just about anybody.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ryan H. wrote:

: Von Trier could get a good performance out of just about anybody.

Did previous best-actress winners Bjork and Charlotte Gainsbourg win for "good performances", necessarily, or, as one Twitterrer suggested, as a sympathy vote for enduring von Trier? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karina Longworth on one of the possible reasons Melancholia beat Tree of Life to become her favorite film at Cannes:

Malick's vision is one of eternal childhood, in which you are ever small and at the mercy of a power that created you, controls everything around you and tugs you back and forth between bliss and trauma without apparent method or reason. But, the timeline is long and your skepticism is natural, and if you can ride it out, The End offers an opportunity for reconciliation. In von Trier's, happiness is a fantasy invented by the stupid, the insecure and the opportunist. The universe exists to destroy you, and while "there is nothing to do and nowhere to hide," The End will offer cathartic confirmation that, to paraphrase Lou Barlow, the crazy people were right on all along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karina Longworth on one of the possible reasons Melancholia beat Tree of Life to become her favorite film at Cannes:

Malick's vision is one of eternal childhood, in which you are ever small and at the mercy of a power that created you, controls everything around you and tugs you back and forth between bliss and trauma without apparent method or reason. But, the timeline is long and your skepticism is natural, and if you can ride it out, The End offers an opportunity for reconciliation. In von Trier's, happiness is a fantasy invented by the stupid, the insecure and the opportunist. The universe exists to destroy you, and while "there is nothing to do and nowhere to hide," The End will offer cathartic confirmation that, to paraphrase Lou Barlow, the crazy people were right on all along.

But does this really make MELANCHOLIA better? Is such relentless, brutal pessimism really any more valuable or worth upholding than overbearing, sentimental optimism?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ryan H. wrote:

: Is such relentless, brutal pessimism really any more valuable or worth upholding than overbearing, sentimental optimism?

It does seem like a false dichotomy, doesn't it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is now available for renting from iTunes, and I imagine other places. So if you've got an Apple TV and don't want to wait, here you go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0