69- Melancholia [7.5]
Justine and Michael are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister and brother-in-law. Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is heading towards Earth.
Melancholia‘s opening shares some similarities with Lars Von Triers’ previous film, Antichrist. Both contain slow moving images set to classical music (though the latter film’s prologue was set in black and white). These scenes are absolutely gorgeous to look at, and feel more like moving paintings than traditional slower frame rate film. (Both films even share similar title cards and acts being broken into named parts.)
I find the apocalyptic set Melancholia to be a parallel to the doom of marriage. Save for the climatic ending, Melancholia is undone by it’s severely slow second hour revolved around Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Claire. While I enjoy Von Trier’s single cam shakiness, it can be a bit excessive at times. Moreover, for all the beauty of the classical music he uses, I find that it takes away from the strength of certain images as it’s occasionally overused.
Regardless of what you make of Lars Von Triers’ work, I doubt you’ll forge some of his shots. Though it’s sometimes hard to separate the artist from the art, I’ll look past his public comments and treat his works as evocative films that I respect for how they stick with me long after initial viewing.