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Entries in Lars Von Trier (23)

Friday
Sep262014

NYFF: A Swarm of Surrealism

Our coverage of the 2014 New York Film Festival, which opens today, continues - here's Jason with an askance look at some of the unsung heroes of The Wonders and their cinematic precedents...

Earlier this week Glenn wrote up a review of Alice Rohrwacher's really very fine film The Wonders, which I also heartily endorse. I was sitting next to him at the press screening and besides being communally delighted (that sounds dirty but I mean it in the most innocent way possible) by the movie together we squirmed, writhed, and let out little moans of discomfort (alright it sounds dirty again, just bear with me here) when the screen repeatedly filled with bees - so many bees! If I'd given it any thought beforehand I might have skipped the film because despite not having an allergy I am a total melissophobic and watching them crawl on human skin is akin to water torture - you might know me as a horror movie fan, a badge I wear with pride, but nothing will make me cover my eyes and climb backwards in my seat quicker than a plain ol' minding-his-own-business honey-bee. Know the real enemy.

That said there's a surrealistic beauty to ways the bees are shot in The Wonders (there's a reason that the poster uses the imagery), and also another animal in the film (which I won't name since it contributes a nice jolt of WTF), and all this got me thinking about the use of animals as surrealist props. It's got a long, sometimes sordid (think of Jodorowsky blowing up all those poor frogs in The Holy Mountain or the tortoise being slaughtered in Cannibal Holocaust) history - I'm sure there have been plenty of dissertations written on it but what I think it comes down to is the unfathomable interior life of The Beast - we cannot know what is going on behind the eyes of these creatures, and so they will always remain strange, the Other. They're a nice short-cut to Uncanny Land, in other words.

And now, because I agree with Nathaniel that lists are super fun, here are the 5 fun instances of animals being used to inject a little surrealism into a film.

The Giraffe in The Great Beauty

The Escaped Zoo Animals in Twelve Monkeys

The Cat Attack in Let the Right One In

Chaos Reigns: The Fox in Antichrist

The Elephant Funeral in Sante Sangre

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Name some of your favorites in the comments!

Monday
Jun232014

anything can happen in the woods... ♪ can i link you? 

LA Curbed Character actress extraordinaire Agnes Moorehead's was apparently a wealthy gal. Her former home is going for $19 million. Whoa!
Empire new stills from The Imitation Game which I'm hearing very positive buzz on
HuffPo remembers Batman (1989) with pictures from the original premiere. Such a blast from the past. Remember when Robert Downey Jr and Sarah Jessica Parker were a couple!? Glenn Close looks so young. Anybody know the unnamed woman with Tim Burton?
In Contention Kris Tapley also paid tribute to the film which he says he owes... a lot

Movie Mezzanine Lars von Trier was making movies about "rape culture" before it had a name. Discussion of Dogville & Breaking the Waves
/Film Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience (2009) is becoming a TV series. Lodge Kerrigan who made the disturbing indie Clean, Shaven (1993) and the actress Amy Seimetz are writing and directing.
VF Hollywood Katey Rich on Gary Oldman's angry comments defending Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin's language
Vulture Hollywood's leading men arranged by height with Kevin Hart and Daniel Radcliffe as the tiniest though weirdly they skip the very tallest ones like Hugh Jackman (6'2") and Chris Hemsworth (nearly 6'3") 
Buzzfeed Daniel Radcliffe sorts celebrities into Hogwarts houses. Streep for Gryffindor ("because she's awesome"), Jon Hamm for Hufflepuff, Benedict Cumberbatch for Ravenclaw, etcetera  
In Contention composer Alexandre Desplat to head the Venice Film Festival jury
Sir Ian McKellen he's now "Doctor" Sir Ian McKellen 

Corrections or Damage Control?
Stephen Sondheim has issued a clarifying statement about Into the Woods after all the negative reaction to the changes he said Disney made. Time has passed since he made the comment...

...I had not yet seen a full rough cut of the movie. Coincidentally, I saw it immediately after leaving the meeting and, having now seen it a couple of times, I can happily report that it is not only a faithful adaptation of the show, it is a first-rate movie.

And for those who care, as the teachers did, the Prince's dalliance is still in the movie, and so is "Any Moment."

I'm not sure I trust Sondheim to judge a movie. He also approved damaging changes to the film version of Sweeney Todd and just because you're a genius in one medium, doesn't mean you know what's best or even good in another.

Two Tweets
Yeah, yeah, I'm quoting myself but for those of you who aren't on twitter I'd thought you'd enjoy/relate...

 

 

 

And my favorite Tweet of the day because it's good lolz

 

 

Tuesday
Apr082014

Top Ten: Lars Von Trier's Actors

Jose here with your weekly top ten.

 

Visionary. Lunatic. Nazi. Enfant terrible. Misogynist. Genius. Poseur.

Lars Von Trier is called so many things that we often forget that he's a terrific director of actors. With his strange sense of humor and world views, his films are often as alienating as they are enlightening, but actors seem to die to work for him. He's led three of his actresses to wins at the Cannes Film Festival and has injected new life into the careers of actors like Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe and now Uma Thurman. Whether you're a fan of his films or not, his contributions to directing actors are incomparable. Now that both of his Nymphomaniac volumes are out in theaters (reviewed), it's a great time to look back

Ten Best Performance in Lars von Trier Films
(after the jump)

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr082014

Review: Nymphomaniac: Parts I & II

Michael C. here fresh from a four hour romp through Lars von Trier's sexual subconscious. First a review, then a hot shower. Or five.

It’s tough to think of a recent film more resistant to review than Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. Not only to does it vacillate wildly in quality between brilliant and dreadful, but it also feels redundant to review a movie so thoroughly engaged in the act of reviewing itself.  

We are first introduced to Charlotte Gainsborg’s Joe laying beaten and unconscious in an alley. When Stellan Skarsgård’s Seligman picks her up off the ground and gives her a place to rest, she narrates her lifelong saga of sexual exploration to him by way of lengthy explanation for her current state. [More]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar212014

Posterized: Lars von Trier

Denmark's most important and most self important troublemaker Lars von Trier is back with the two-part Nymphomaniac. Charlotte Gainsbourg stars as the title character and recounts her lifelong sexcapades. Is there really 5 hours of story to tell? Or is it just hard to edit yourself when you're doing something vignette style? And how do we count this in his filmography anyway... as one or two films?

Is it really one film delivered at two separate chunks or two separate films? Not that Von Trier's filmography is easy to parse in the usual way, making posterized a bit more challenging. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar202014

i've been linking i've been linking why cant i keep my blogging off it, baby

They Live By Night amusing Noah anecdote with Robert Bresson and Dino de Laurentiis
AV Club Masters of Sex starts again in July. Wow, that was quick. Pleased I am.  
My New Plaid Pants have you seen this inexplicable trailer to Bad Johnson. Cam Gigandet's career is so weird 
Variety Jon Chu to direct Jem and the Holograms live action modernized version 

The Wire It's Time to Kill "Happy" - how the Oscar nominated and still #1 Pharrell tune overstayed its welcome 
Guardian Charlie Kaufman lining up film stars for his "How and Why" TV pilot: Catherine Keener, Michael Cera, John Hawkes, and now Sally Hawkins 
In Contention thinks these are the 20 best Fox Searchlight movies as they approach a big anniversary. They are a great company
/Film collects all the Mad Men Season 7 promos in one place which is helpful, though still unrevealing. I love that Weiner refuses to budge on spoilers, even in "next week on..." and has since the start. Though I do think this season is going to be L.A. heavy if I were guessing
Cinema Blend why Marvel might start killing off their big heroes at the movies in Phase Three
Towleroad Madonna unveils new skin care line "MDNA Skin" 
i09 names the 12 worst muppets, apparently in hopes they don't have screen time in the new film 
Film School Rejects 6 filmmaking tips from Lars von Trier 

Today's Watch
Louis Virtel uncovers 44 reasons for the earthquake in Los Angeles

 

My favorites are: 1, 4, 11, 15, 19, 29, 30 and 34

#19. Jonah Hill has as many Oscar nominations as Vivien Leigh."

Tuesday
Jan282014

We Can't Wait #8: Nymphomaniac

In the We Can't Wait series we're looking at our top 14 most exciting film prospects for 2014. Previously we've covered BoyhoodBig EyesThe Last 5 Years, Gone Girl , Can a Song Save Your Life and Veronica Mars plus movies that just missed the cutHere's Dave on Lars von Trier's latest which had a successful "surprise" screening (half of it at least) at Sundance this year. -Editor

Nymphomaniac
Agent provocateur Lars Von Trier takes us on an epic journey through the sexual history of Joe, a middle-aged, self-diagnosed nymphomaniac.

Click to read more ...