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MELANCHOLIA Lars Von Trier (Read 2064 times)
Nov 22nd, 2011 at 9:04pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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+++++++Mild spoilers +++++++

Who could have imagined two arthouse dramas being released in the same year that featured a woman who becomes entranced with a newly discovered planet which mysteriously comes into Earth's orbit? That European bad-boy of international cinema, Lars Von Trier (BREAKING THE WAVES, DANCER IN THE DARK) has come up with an intriguing film with just that plot on the heels of the similar - in summary at least - ANOTHER EARTH.
MELANCHOLIA is about a planet which threatens a too close for comfort flyby of the earth on the day after Justine's (Kirsten Dunst) wedding. Now, much like in ANOTHER EARTH, Trier isn't terribly interested in the science of this new planet as much as he is in its symbolic value to his main character. You see, the planet is called 'Melancholia'. And, Justine is a very Melancholy bride.
The film begins with an incredibly gorgeous cataclysmic montage. It's horrifying and beautiful at the same time. It blows away the much longer cosmology sequence in Malick's TREE OF LIFE. From there, the SF element is minimal for the next hour or so (the film runs 2 1/4 hrs), so patience is necessary. It pays off in the end, though Von Trier doesn't allow for any easy conclusions.

+++end mild spoilers +++

Like ANOTHER EARTH, this isn't necessarily an SF film for the rayguns and creature feature crowd, but, one which is thoughtful and worth seeking out. And, it's available on Pay Per View, so even those who can't make it into town to the Kendall. However, you should certainly see it on the biggest and best screen you can.

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