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'Melancholia'

A movie by Lars von Trier.

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Beautiful Destruction

  • Sep 17, 2011
Rating:
+4

MELANCHOLIA

Written and Directed by Lars von Trier

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Keifer Sutherland and Alexander Skarsgard

 

Justine: The Earth is evil. We don’t need to grieve for it. Nobody will miss it.

 

Leave it to one of the world’s most infamously melancholic directors, Lars von Trier, to open a film with Earth as we know it coming to an abrupt demise. Dead birds drop from the sky, roots come out from the ground and people sink into the dirt beneath their feet. As disturbing and dark as this grandiose overture is, it is also incredibly beautiful to behold and thus defines the paradox that is Lars von Trier. He gives us nothing but sadness but sees everything, on film anyway, for all its incredible magnificence.

 

MELANCHOLIA, which von Trier also wrote, tells the story of how a planet of the same name crashes into Earth and destroys mankind. It then rewinds a little to take a closer look at two sisters in the days leading up to the end of the world. First, we get to know Justine (Kirsten Dunst). It is her wedding day, which we all know should be the happiest of her life, but happiness is a constant struggle for Justine. As it becomes clear to her that the end is coming, she becomes less interested in pretending she is in good sorts. Her sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), lives a good life with her rich husband (Keifer Sutherland) and passes her time by fussing over details. She is the rock of her family and likely just as depressed as her sister, but incapable of letting that show. As they band together to brave the end, they do great justice to the many faces of misery.

 

Von Trier, who has dealt with depression for most of his life, not only explores the harsh lows of the disease in MELANCHOLIA, but also its lighter side and, more importantly, its futility. Is fighting against the inevitable the best course of action? Or is it better to just give in to your despair and give up all hope for happiness? Von Trier does not pretend to put forth an answer because there is no one answer that matters. The world will end and every single emotion or thought we’ve ever had will cease to exist. Von Trier seems to understand that this is not damnation but rather liberation - that only when we accept that life is meaningless can we truly be free to create the life we want. That’s pretty optimistic coming from a world renowned downer.



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October 06, 2011
This sounds pretty sweet!! Thanks for the rec.
 
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More Melancholia reviews
review by . April 02, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    "Melancholia" begins with a stunning montage of beautiful images, all somehow connected. They are meant to act as a sort of moving scrapbook for the end of the world; at the end of it all, we see a planet collide with our own, incinerating everything on it, perhaps even the water. Before that, we get extreme slow motion imagery such as a woman clutching her infant child as she walks across what looks like a golf course, another woman observing as a mysterious …
review by . October 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Due to the stylized similarities within the story and the ethic and pragmatic visual poem, Melancholia feels like The Tree of Life's little brother. That's just a feeling though and nothing accurate as you cannot really put these two movies in the same bowl. Melancholia is a frivolled appearance in the art of filmmaking. It's an interesting concept that deals with smooth nuances of flamboyant storytelling and magical colors. An ambiance between, music, soul and film. While …
review by . November 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Melancholia' 'Two Jews On Film' Are Worlds Apart On This Big Blue Planet (Video)
      When 'Melancholia' directed by the always controversial, Lars Von Tier, opens...there is a montage of impressionistic stills set to Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde...      Dead birds slowly rain down from the sky, while Kirsten Dunst, dressed in a long, flowing white wedding gown, wearing a dazed expression on her face, runs through a lush, dark forest...A horse silently falls to the ground as the opera reaches a crescendo...Then we cut …
review by . November 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         If Melancholia is indeed a science fiction film, as Wikipedia tells us it is, it’s one that only Lars von Trier could have made. Its depiction of a rogue planet on a collision course with Earth is joined at the hip with the story of two sisters, one of whom is deeply depressed. Trier, widely known within film circles for his bouts of severe depression, claims the idea came to him during one of his therapy sessions, in which he was told that, …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #26
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Movies, Drama, Sciencefiction, Review, Julian Left, Melancholia, Lars Von Trier, Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgard

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