Friday, December 30, 2011

Melancholia (2011)

This is your brain on Melancholia.

     I'm not a fan of the films of Lars Von Trier. There. I said it. He is an amazingly talented artist with an absolute command of the visual language of cinema. I "get" it. I know that it's "cool" to like his films because of his use of symbolism, manipulation of the conventional narrative, and knack for conveying abstract emotions in an understandable way. I just can't get past his pacing. His films are so methodical and so well conceived that they feel three times as long as they actually are. It's like watching a top surgeon performing brain surgery. You see what he's doing, you understand it, you appreciate the complexity of his movements, you know that every motion will lead to something larger. It also takes goddamned forever. On top of this, you have the fact that every single one of Von Trier's films are excruciatingly dark and depressing. I simply don't enjoy witnessing the death of a human soul for what seems like six hours. With all of this said, and without contradicting a word of what you've just read, I honestly think Melancholia is among his better efforts and may even be his most widely accessible film to date.