Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 220: Thu Aug 10

Dancer in The Dark (Von Trier, 2000): Prince Charles Cinema, 8.40pm


This film is part of the Cinematic Jukebox season at the Prince Charles. Details here.

Chicago Reader review:
Disgusting yet interesting, Lars von Trier's much heralded musical (2000)—or, more precisely, feature-length music video with interspersed dialogue—deserves to be seen because it's a freakish provocation, not just because it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes. A Czech immigrant working at a factory in rural Washington State in the early 60s (Icelandic pop star Bjork) is going blind and knows her son will too if she can't save enough money for an operation; the story gets even more melodramatic once a murder trial takes over. Reportedly shot with 100 digital video cameras (very few of which manage to find a good angle), the film reprises the sadomasochistic celebration of female suffering in Breaking the Waves, and with it von Trier affirms his solidarity with America's impoverished and downtrodden people (apparently a diversion from his career in Denmark as a porn producer). The musical numbers are a weird blend of rock video and Jacques Demy postmusicals, with lousy songs and choreography and a distance between the music and the action that suggests an amateur remake of Pennies From Heaven. But in spite of everything, Bjork's absolute dedication and submission to the material periodically blew me away. With David Morse, Peter Stormare, and a spectacularly misused Joel Grey.
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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