Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Melancholia at Cannes, Lars Von Trier Causing Trouble

The good news: Lars Von Trier's sci-fi delving into depressive personalities Melancholia got astoundingly good press after its screening at Cannes.  The film, which follows a wedding taking place in the midst of the planet's demise, is being hailed as a positively gorgeous, absorptive, aesthetically miraculous work of cinema with killer performances from its ensemble cast (including Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, and (one of my favorites) Charlotte Gainsbourg).  As we already know: I was one of the minority who adored the havoc wrought in Antichrist, so you can bet that this has been at the tip top of my must see list for going on a year.  Melancholia's positive reception represents a near 180 for critics in the wake of the aforementioned bit of psychological horror.  This film supposedly possesses little of Antichrist's provocation or controversy, leaving viewers to wallow in the lush imagery without crossing that genital mutilation line.

So, of course, in the wake of making a 'safer' film, Von Trier brought the controversy to the press conference and made a poor, poor joke comparison in which he professed to "be a Nazi."  Naturally, this got blown out of proportion for those who cared.  If you read the full transcript it becomes clear that the incident was definitely a moment of idiocy on behalf of Von Trier, but also a moment in which a slightly 'crazy' man tries to cover up a faulty filter by running his mouth trying to explain.  I think I see what he was trying to say.  He's a bit of a bully who psychologically (based on rumor) seems to think himself a sort of holy victim.  He also certainly has a knack for egoism, grandeur, and cinematic nihilism.  Still, he should know better.  Avoid Nazi comments that are anything but negative at all costs, people.  Really, this is one of those situations where he should just stick to making movies and never try to talk unless he's making an entry in The Five Obstructions (which is totally a series project now, guys!  He's going to work with Martin Scorsese!).  So, Lars Von Trier is a dumb ass, but also a really interesting artist.  This is nothing like Mel Gibson, is what I'm saying.   Read the episode here and witness how it spirals out of control. 

In other Cannes news, The Tree of Life was met with some boos (what!?), and my other must see, We Need to Talk About Kevin is apparently just as startling and dramatically taut as Lionel Shriver's original novel (read it, please, like right now...before the movie comes out).  Our lady Tilda Swinton is cleaning up on awards buzz, and knowing the role: I believe it.  She will win everything.  Eva is a fantastic character, Swinton is a brilliant actress, and I can't wait to see this story brought to the screen.

Looks like this might be the year in which my favorite actresses of 2009 (Gainsbourg for Antichrist, Swinton for Julia) are vindicated for being gypped of all awards. Either that, or they'll be snubbed again and I will be the most angry.  Let's hope for the former.  This is some serious drama that I am so ready for...

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