Movie of the Day – Melancholia

The destruction of the world never seemed so elegantly breathtaking.  It’s not unfair to the viewers and readers to say that this film is about the end of the world.  I am not spoiling anything since the destruction of the Earth happens in the first 5 minutes of the film set to some of the most gorgeous cinematography  that von Trier has ever done.  Imagery that is both haunting and serene at that same time, sets the ultimate mood for a film that chronicles the the lives of a family learning to deal with this oncoming celestial body.  Lars von Trier promised to deliver a film with no happy endings and I guess  destroying the world is the only way to give us a truly sad ending.

Read more of this post

Movie Review – Melancholia

I found it interesting that back in 2009, director Lars von Trier said that his next films after Anti-Christ, were going to be devoid of a happy ending.  As a fan of his work I chuckled at this statement since I have seen Anti-Christ and Dancer in the Dark numerous times and never really found happiness in any of the endings.  I mean unless you were happy with the penis splitting good time that was Anti-Christ, I guess someone at least found something to be happy about.  Lars von Trier is a bit of a polarizing director, especially if you are only interested in him as a passing film fan.  He loves to revel in the grandiose story, harsh acting and stunning visuals to a point where you either love the man or hate him.

There is no denying though, even if you tuned into some of his movies in just the passing glance on Netflix one night, that his films are absolutely beautiful to watch.  So being a fan of his, this new science fiction project was something out of his comfort zone.  I was intrigued with the premise about viewing a film which doesn’t have a happy ending.  It goes against a lot of the pillars of film making or the pillars that we have become comfortable with as a viewing audience.  With so little known about the movie initially, the only bits of information we had to go off of was that the movie dealt with the destruction of Earth by a planet called Melancholia.  Melancholia, a name which means sadness in Greek, is not only the driven force behind the film, but also the emotional set piece for the study of depression and contemplation on the end of our lives.

Read more of this post

Movie of the Day – Dancer in the Dark

This is a bit of an odd choice for today’s selection.  The movie today is a weird, but strangely beautiful and moving film that incorporates drama and music.  Dancer In The Dark is not only a catchy musical, but incredibly crushing drama from Lars von Trier.  If you aren’t familiar with Trier and his works, suffice to say that there are very few happy endings in his movies.  His work brings about such vitriol and praise from all critics, that you aren’t certain whether you should side one way or the other.  Von Trier practically pushes his actors to the limit, wanting pure raw emotion from them and demands nothing less.  Dancer in the Dark is this balance between melodrama and musical, as Icelandic singer Björk is the composer of the soundtrack and also giving her first real shot at being a lead actress.  For me this is one of Von Trier’s best films in terms of the emotional upheaval that you go through when watching this movie.  At times it is beautiful, other times it is utterly tragic and depressing.

Read more of this post

Trailers of the Week – Melancholia and The Bang Bang Club

Another week down, another set of trailers to get you excited about up coming movies.  This time we will take a look at Lars Von Triers “Melancholia” and Steven Silvers “The Bang Bang Club”

Melancholia:

Another entry from Lars Von Trier and this looks to be amazing.  If you have never seen a Lars Von Trier movie or are familiar with his work, his movies aren’t the pleasant happy endings that we expect in movies.  Lars Von Trier is delivering his latest movie off the heels of “Antichrist” which was utterly divisive for some people.  While the subject matter is grim, the man can tell a story and have incredibly engaging visuals.  Lars Von Trier stated that his films will have no happy ending from here on out and Melancholia looks to be the first in his promise.

Melancholia tells the story of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who are both having disputes with one another and in their lives.  When a new planet emerges from behind the sun and threatens to collide with Earth, we see the two sisters become distant and on opposite ends of emotions.  Kirsten’s character is complacent with her life and becomes melancholic with her fate.  Charlotte’s character becomes fearful and frightened, unsure of what is going to happen.

The interesting thing about this movie is that it is established in the opening scene that this rogue planet destroys the Earth.  There isn’t a happy ending to be had since we know the ending, but rather we jump back to the lead up Earth’s destruction and view how each character copes with the inevitable.  I am excited to see another Von Trier movie and the concept of no happy endings has me intrigued.  The trailer and tone is beautiful, with the sweeping music and gorgeous cinematography.  Von Trier may tell depressing stories, but they are well shot and beautiful to watch.

The Bang Bang Club:

Another movie that is catching some early buzz in the film circuits.  The Bang Bang Club is about the real-life story of a group of war photographers and their involvement during the early 90’s in South Africa.  The movie will cover the fall of the Apartheid in South Africa, the release of Nelson Mandela and his presidential run.  The movie looks engaging and moving as we bear witness to what conflict photographers must deal with while covering atrocities and conflict.  The movie looks to cover the idea of non-involvement in certain situations.  Photographers are supposed to be on the sidelines of conflicts, never picking a side and always looking from the outside.  I hope that movie goes into the aspect never getting involve with the subjects that they are covering.  A lot of the war photos we see now cover both sides of the situation in order to put issues into perspective.

I don’t know much else about the movie, other than I want to read the book that the movie is based on.  I am not sure when this will get a release, but rest assured that when it does, I will be there to see it.