It always hits me like a ton of bricks in what degree a film's efficiency can depend on the director's technical expertise. It can be the dividing line between mediocrity and being a masterpiece. Andrei Rublev would be nothing without Tarkovsky. Since I do not aim to write an all-inclusive review detailing each segment of the film, I will cut to the chase and establish the centerpiece of my review, one particular quality in the director's immense skill repertoire which…
#Existential Musings Vol. 3.
'Tell me you love me.'
'I love you.'
'Tell me again.'
'I don't love you.'
The little scoundrel. I knew he was no better. I knew it and yet I clung to him like a drowning woman clings to the shipwreck of her soul. I despise myself. I hear him slowly tread behind me as I look at the ruins in front of me and wonder if they'll ever be whole. I hear him…
When you're being interviewed by someone you just met and 5 minutes later you unobtrusively switch roles and ask them about their strained relationship with their father after correctly intuiting the source of their suffering, and they look bewildered as hell as they blink once and say 'I'm here to interview YOU, Mr. Rogers', to which you reply 'Well, that is what we are doing, isn't it?', and you smile at them genuinely and they neither get how you know…
When you shoot Dante close-range with a full metal jacket bullet, perform taxidermy on him, put him in the freezer next to the pizzas, build a house from his remains, and meet your travel pal Verge (Verge, people!) who takes you on a tour to the 9th circle of hell. This movie is it. Calming stuff. I'd rename it The Dante-butchery That Lars Committed. More fitting.
The fact that Justine smiled all throughout her wedding night (1 hour of cinematic runtime) but smiled her only REAL smile with a little boy asking about magic caves (2 seconds of cinematic runtime) tells you more about depression and unhappiness in general than the most precise psychological analysis ever could. Because all we ever need is a magic cave where we can hide out together with those who understand us. The cave won't protect us from the all-consuming onrush…
I'm not a fan of Lars von Trier's handheld camera. That is not to say I reject the (dis)organized looseness and headache-inducing whirlwind style of Dogme 95. I hold The Celebration in high regard. But while Vinterberg took the movement's amateurish feel, made it into a ball (full of spikes), and threw it smack at the viewer to propel the raw tension into exploding as the claustrophobia ate up his story piece by piece, von Trier seemed to have mounted…