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Author Topic: Dancer In The Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)  (Read 3508 times)

Paul

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Dancer In The Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
« on: 21 May 2010 - 08:12 »

I had no idea that this would be as bleak as it was. It’s such an amazing film! Björk plays Selma: a Czech immigrant single mother living in the US during the early sixties. Selma has a degenerative condition that will result in permanent blindness. The condition is hereditary and she saves her meagre wages earned in a factory for an operation that will allow her young son to be cured. Selma continues to work at the factory in order to save but her condition is so rapid that her lack of vision seriously threatens the wellbeing of both her and her co-workers. Selma’s kindly landlord, a local policeman called Bill (David Morse) lives beyond his means in order to keep hold of his trophy wife. Their lives become linked intrinsically, with devastated consequences.

I really have no time for musicals. I’m not a fan and besides THE BLUES BROTHERS and THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE I just don’t watch them. DANCER IN THE DARK is a musical. The bleak reality of Selma’s world is counter-balanced with a fantastical musical retreat where she often finds herself when she is at her most low. Obviously it helps if you like Björk’s singing (I do) but the way in which each of the numbers (there’s probably five or six all told) are introduced within the narrative makes them feel organic, rather than tacked on for effect.

I thought DANCER IN THE DARK was great: an audacious film that was completely unlike what I had expected. I will continue to seek out the films of von Trier because he really is something of a demented genius.
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pricey

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Re: Dancer In The Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
« Reply #1 on: 21 May 2010 - 08:57 »

I saw this in the cinema when it came out. I was on a first date with a nice girl, and I might aswell of taken her to a funeral. We sat in a bar afterwards just staring at the floor, depressed.
Didn't Von Trier and Bjork fall out in a major way during the shooting of this? Hence no more Bjork acting roles.
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Paul

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Re: Dancer In The Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
« Reply #2 on: 21 May 2010 - 09:00 »

I saw this in the cinema when it came out. I was on a first date with a nice girl, and I might aswell of taken her to a funeral. We sat in a bar afterwards just staring at the floor, depressed.

Oh dear! Reminds me of the friend that once took his first date to see HENRY. He never saw her again. I wonder why?  :-*

I watched DANCER IN THE DARK with my wife. She was in tears by the end. I was surprised, she really enjoyed the film too... but hated the musical interludes  :-\

Didn't Von Trier and Bjork fall out in a major way during the shooting of this? Hence no more Bjork acting roles.

That's what I heard - you can just imagine the battle of egos between a filmmaker and a musician!
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Michael Blanton

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Re: Dancer In The Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
« Reply #3 on: 21 May 2010 - 18:32 »

I had no idea that this would be as bleak as it was. It’s such an amazing film! Björk plays Selma: a Czech immigrant single mother living in the US during the early sixties. Selma has a degenerative condition that will result in permanent blindness. The condition is hereditary and she saves her meagre wages earned in a factory for an operation that will allow her young son to be cured. Selma continues to work at the factory in order to save but her condition is so rapid that her lack of vision seriously threatens the wellbeing of both her and her co-workers. Selma’s kindly landlord, a local policeman called Bill (David Morse) lives beyond his means in order to keep hold of his trophy wife. Their lives become linked intrinsically, with devastated consequences.

I really have no time for musicals. I’m not a fan and besides THE BLUES BROTHERS and THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE I just don’t watch them. DANCER IN THE DARK is a musical. The bleak reality of Selma’s world is counter-balanced with a fantastical musical retreat where she often finds herself when she is at her most low. Obviously it helps if you like Björk’s singing (I do) but the way in which each of the numbers (there’s probably five or six all told) are introduced within the narrative makes them feel organic, rather than tacked on for effect.

I thought DANCER IN THE DARK was great: an audacious film that was completely unlike what I had expected. I will continue to seek out the films of von Trier because he really is something of a demented genius.


Paul, I'm not a fan of musicals, either, but I though the film was brilliant.  I loved how the toned down color palate would suddenly explode into vibrant color whenever a song started up.  [spoiler]Definitely a strong condemnation of the death penalty, too.[/spoiler]

Agree about von Trier, too.  He's great.
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Paul

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Re: Dancer In The Dark (Lars von Trier, 2000)
« Reply #4 on: 22 May 2010 - 10:34 »

The one negative thing I would say is the way in which Von Trier shot the film. As Michael points out, the musical sequences ddo feature colours that are more vibrant from those seen in the rest of the film but had this been shot on 35mm the difference would be staggering and would only add to what is already an excellent film.
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