Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Melancholia


We all know I’m a tireless, dogged defender of Lars Von Trier’s psychologically shattering  Antichrist.  For all its horrors (and there are many), it carries itself in a way that’s hauntingly beautiful and which makes its nightmarish provocations all the more lasting.  See it once and, unless you’re prone to burying bad memories deep within your psyche, you’ll remember it always in fits, starts, and bursts of graphic imagery.   Antichrist was Von Trier’s version of semi-conventional horror.  The pieces are simple, familiar:  cabin in the woods, a dead toddler, insanity, graphic mutilation and the evocation of Satan.  The way they came together was alien; pieced from the darkest depths of its creator’s brutal depression.   When Von Trier announced that his next go would be a science fiction film centered, essentially, around the end of the world, I could only imagine what that would entail for someone with his off-kilter vision.  Would we wind up with Tarkovsky?  Would we rehash Antichrist’s bleakest points of nihilism?  Could we see society tipping towards the sense of loss that Charlotte Gainsbourg made so visceral, so painful, in 2009?   All we could count on was  Von Trier discontinuing his current mode.  Love him or hate him, he’s ever-changing, innovative, and consistent, perhaps only in a latent distrust in humanity and Dogme 95 (though we seem to have moved beyond that movement)...


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