Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sight & Sound Challenge: Melancholia (2011)

Film: Melancholia (67/250) 
Critics Poll: 235th 
Directors Poll: 132nd 
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Up until now the only Lars von Trier film(s) I'd seen were Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 and 2. While I applauded his filmmaking abilities, the ending of the saga was ultimately disappointing and I entered into this one with some apprehension. I didn't want to feel like I had wasted my time, plus I had heard that this one was really depressing (it is part of his "Depression trilogy" after all). My overall impression of the film couldn't be further from the truth. I found the film absolutely beautiful and moving. The opening alone was a work of art; images moving in slow motion that reveal the events that are about to unfold, set to Wagner's beautiful "Tristan und Isolde". It's a film about how those who accept their sadness are better able to face true catastrophe; in this case, a rogue planet colliding with our own. I didn't find this concept depressing. I've often stated that this world is so messed up that I wouldn't be too upset if a meteor or something came to wipe us all out. It's not the end of the world that's upsetting, it's the day to day life on this planet full of selfish people hurting each other. But I digress. This film is contemplative, provocative, and ultimately beautiful in its tragedy. I loved it. 

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