Melancholia: Rethinking a Movie

Thinking that I would soon have to trade in my DVR and thus lose all my recorded movies I decided to watch one that I had recorded more than three years ago but hadn’t seen: Melancholia (2011) by the Danish writer-director Lars von Trier. As I survey von Trier’s oeuvre, I see that I haven’t seen much of it, but I believe I did see Europa (1991), and perhaps even in the theatre. In America, Europa is known as Zentropa, which happens to be the name of von Trier’s film company. Melancholia may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It operates on (at least) two levels. The first level is that of the “art film.” The second, which I think more Americans will appreciate, is more of a straight drama. But the art film takes precedence, as the film starts out with an actual overture where we see very static images set to the Act I Prelude of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. After the overture we see a white stretch limousine trying to negotiate a tight...(Read Full Article)