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Danish director Lars von Trier's debut feature film--also his first English-language effort--is an extremely hypnotic, moody thriller. The story opens in the desert of Egypt, where police detective Leopold Fisher (Michael Elphick) is hypnotized and asked to recount the recent events of his life. It seems that Fisher has been called back to a small town where he has previously spent time in order to investigate the brutal murders of several little girls who sell lottery tickets. He reunites with his mentor, Osborne (Esmond Night), the writer of a controversial book entitled THE ELEMENT OF CRIME, in which he recommends that investigators adopt the point of view of killers in order to better predict subsequent tragedies. When Fisher meets Kim (Meme Lei), a beautiful young woman, the pair embarks on a journey that begins to blur the line between Fisher's simulated killer and the real thing. <br> <br> Von Trier's film is a bold exercise in style, using hypnotism to support the slowly unfolding story. Visuall...
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CastEsmond Knight
DirectorLars von Trier
Release Date:  1985
MPAA Rating:  Unrated
DVD Release Date:  Criterion Collection (September 19, 2000)
Runtime:  1hr 44min
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review by . July 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     "The Element of Crime" is a modern film-noir so fascinating, that the mere experience of watching it almost cannot be described. You cannot truly absorb all of its contents on one viewing; and I imagine that it keeps improving each time one revisits it. The film is a visual feast, a surrealist's joint, and also the film debut of Lars Von Trier. Now, that's a name you may know. The man is a lover and attractor of controversy; something that he embraces rather …
review by . March 17, 2010
Pros: Setting      Cons: Everything but setting      The Bottom Line: YAWN, find any other von Trier film and watch it twice. Then you can say that, by count, you have seen all of them.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. When I see or hear the word “stylized” for a film I am immediately suspicious. I can generally rely on the foundation that make Peter Greenaway’s films …
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