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Re: Melancholia (the film)

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  • Mary
    Thinking more about this film, I suppose we aren t being asked to like or pity these characters. There is actually something banal and insipid in their
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 4, 2012
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      Thinking more about this film, I suppose we aren't being asked to like or pity these characters. There is actually something banal and insipid in their respective depression, wealth, and parenthood. The wife depended on the husband, an amateur astronomer, for information from the outside world and surreptitiously consulted the internet for information about the approaching planet, not forany information about how the outside world was faring. Their isolation on the estate/country club and the film's conclusion seemed almost childish compared with the significance of the event. I can't decide if von Trier was condoning or condemning their relationship with society, or simply provoking us to think about whether what we do makes any difference. My understanding of existentialism plus my rapprochement with 'spirit' leads me to think such a relationship makes all the difference.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary" <josephson45r@...> wrote:
      >
      > Has anyone seen von Trier's "Melancholia"? Despite some above par cinematography and Dunst's performance, I was hugely disappointed. Based on the similar theme of Earth's destruction, the overall artistry and depth of emotion doesn't compare favorably with Tarkovsky's "The Sacrifice." If you only have 5 days to prepare for a cataclysm, would you do ordinary or extraordinary things?
      >
      > By focusing on the personalities of the two sisters, one clinically depressed yet not being treated despite her wealth, and the other, the mother of a young boy and overwhelmed caretaker of her sister, he excludes what's happening in the rest of the world. This is a reasonable approach in order to have them somehow represent modern women. Yet the women are simply not as 'real' as their counterparts in Tarkovsky's more mystical, less realistic film. This, I think, is what Zizek means when he says that an essence can be conveyed more effectively through an appearance than through the actual. Tarkovsky's symbolism engages more than von Trier's minimalist attempt at realism. Despite depression and concerns for material security, certainly contemporary concerns, von Trier's characters ironically seem plastic compared to Tarkovsky's more hysterical counterparts.
      >
      > Mary
      >
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