Nov 16, 2011

Melancholia, 2011

Melancholia, 2011
Director: Lars Von Trier
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland

Stage: Kino Šiška, Liffe, late evening /sold out/ screening

Melancholia in short
: Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide into the Earth.

Preps: a lot of criticism, a lot of good and bad commercial about this piece. However, to my choice of Liffe, it's no brainer. A Von Trier is a must see, I always do.

Reality: What would you do if you had two hours to spend before the world comes to an end? How would you spend it? This is one of the questions arising from the mere predisposition that a planet is coming with a good chance to swallow the Earth and life as we know it. Or bypass it and give us a big scare.

The second topic is the distinction /connection between beauty and death, which is also one of the things Melancholia stands for as a word expression. Trier shows a variety of scenes with unusual elements falling from the sky, a picturesque environment where he shoots the movie and beauty in the perception of young dilluted Justine. She needs to escape from everything she perceives normal and yet, the environment forces her to turn in normal. Which means that she needs an evidence to prove to the society she's also normal. Precisely this is why we have the big wedding at the beginning, yet everything seems wrong about this wedding. Based on every pre-assumption one might have in ways to create a beautiful (cliche) wedding, this would be one of it. The tuxes, the ties, the people being cheerful and elegant.. and the bride, lost and confused, not able to follow her own decision. The break of her inside comes slowly, but surely. At the beginning the audience sees what choaks this young beauty - her veil in shape of grey coat, surrounding the legs, which she is pulling behind herself and suffering while she does it, because it's very hard. It could be interpreted as the burden she's carrying in her soul while being alive.

Justine feels out of the planet, out of "normal" perspective, and she shows so much depression it hurts to see her demolished this way.
The part of the story that is missing is the "normal" component - she used to be a good copywriter. Was this because she's living in her own world and perceived from all others as weird? Or did she had any kind of accident and turned this way? We don't know, and Trier doesn't show us. But the pain, which embraces the beauty is real. Everything else - material things, things that satisfy us for a moment, they are just a dillusion. Pain, sadness, Beauty. I think this goes hand in hand with the plot and the main Trier message in this piece. Longing is the most prominent feature of Melancholia.

The next thing is that Earth is according to Trier, the only living breathing organism in the universe. So the destruction is complete. It's not perfect if everything doesn't go. In some sense, like the extreme beauty - Justine. Every little part fits. And photography is exquisite. You can only stare at one scene for a really long time and not get bored with it. Plus, the music can give you thrills as it is chosen so carefully it rocks your bones. The dialogues are wittily chosen and the irony shows on each step of the way. And the triviality of everything we normally strive for (yet seems in this perspective, quite unimportant).

The movie is constructed in two parts. The first, Justine, trying to fit the unfitted into the system. And the other part, Claire, exposing the "normal" sister to the fact that the life she dearly appreciates, is going to be destroyed. The horrible way she faces it and tries to run, when there's nowhere to run to. To drink some wine, to have a stroll just before you die? Up to individual. This story emphasizes one way to go. And appreciates non - normality.

My personal rate: 9,0 (splendid work .. again I am out of my breath.)

Melancholia on IMDB

Melancholia (about it) - a short interview with von Trier & official page

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