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Entries in Melancholia (26)


Melancholia Fallout

I really hope that all the press conference controversy surrounding Lars Von Trier's Melancholia doesn't hinder its awards chances if it had any to begin with. Ioncinema's critics panel loved the movie but at least one distributor has already bailed. I am usually quite amused by Lars Von Trier's ease at manipulating the press with his outrageous comments -- everyone falls for it every time! Suckers -- but this time, sadly, his mischief may affect his film's chances to be seen. Which... argh. It's so anti-art to be offended by someone's peronality and therefore reject their work in its entirety and, worse, prevent others from seeing it.

Lars is always making his actresses uncomfortable

This type of moral outrage at bad-taste humor can often snowball in uncomfortable ways. I'm already worried that The Five Obstructions project with Martin Scorsese, which sounds thrilling, will end up derailed as well. Lars Von Trier has apologized but because he is also Lars Von Trier he's been making inflammatory follow up comments as well about enjoying the persona non grata designation.

I haven't been reading Melancholia reviews other than skimming blurbs. I'm most intrigued by IndieWire's description of the film as Von Trier's Rachel Getting Married because, well, who wouldn't want to see that? I was also intrigued by Hollywood Elsewhere's comment about Kiki's lead performance:

She's never operated in such a dark, fleshy and grandiose realm.

Though maybe you can disregard that one, since Mr. Wells doesn't seem to have a sense of how accomplished Dunst's filmography actually is. The Spider-Man trilogy sure did pull the wool over everyone's eyes in terms of her versatility and the general strength of her filmography. Rich at FourFour hasn't yet seen the movie but he sure loves Kiki's performance at the press conference.

ANYWAY... My increasingly anti-review stance is getting uncomfortable for me as a blogger/pundit/critic/loudmouth. I tend to talk more about movies AFTER their release and the world has definitely trended away from me (gulp) there, preferring to exhaust conversations before moviegoers can join in. I haven't decided quite how to work around this yet. See, I knew way too much bout LVT's Antichrist -- to connect this train of thought back to Melancholia -- before seeing it and it was very frustrating for me. What should have been a shock-fest instead was just "oh, here comes that part. I see what he did there." I know in my soul that the modern habit of digging for all and every piece of information for each new movie before experiencing it beforehand (a kindred spirit to the now commonplace Oscar-fanatic trend to take adamant Oscar sides before seeing the performances in question) is detrimental to the magic of the movies. But how to stay informed without spoiling your own capacity for surprise and joy?  Are you also struggling with this? It's been getting progressively worse over the past 5 or so years. I wonder if this will cycle back culturally to valuing secrets or if it will just get worse?  

My favorite shot in the Melancholia trailer. So evocative and childlike

If you released The Crying Game (1992) in today's moviegoing climate, for example, I bet it would never have taken off and nagged several Oscar nominations. (Oscar nominations that were completely deserved, mind you.)  Its whole campaign was about keeping the secret (which wasn't exactly a last minute twist) and by the time people staring knowing the secret before seeing it -- thanks to one of those Oscar nominations -- it was already a "must see" film.

My train of thought has jumped the rails. Back to Melancholia. Do you think the jury will dare give it any prizes, if they were already so inclined, given that Lars von Trier has been expelled?

Related: Yes No Maybe So Melancholia
Interview: The Return of Kirsten Dunst, A Very Good Thing


Posters, Links, Handguns

Via Awards Daily, the Albert Nobbs teaser poster. Enjoy it while you can as you know it'll soon be replaced with a boring poster of Glenn Close's floating head. Or perhaps Glenn Close and Mia Wasikowska photographed separately and then awkwardly fused together? Something I'll never understand: it's not like actors are never in the same room. Why not shoot movie poster photography ON THE SET? This shouldn't sound like a genius idea but given the state of movie posters, it is.

On the other hand... staying positive for a moment, we probably bitch too much about bad poster design these days. In truth there's a lot of very good work being done these past few years with the caveat that 95% of the good work is happening in the "teaser" realm rather than within the world of official movie poster. Perhaps Hollywood assumes that the movie obsessive crowds are inspired by good design but the unwashed masses only understand giant floating heads or horizontal stripes featuring film stills?

Oh and while we're talking posters... MELANCHOLIA. It's also a beauty. Love the little curlicue flourish.

Upcoming Films
Scott Feinberg
liked the Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid "sequel" Blackthorn at the Tribeca Film Festival with high marks for Sam Shepard as Butch.
Hero Complex
JJ Abrams names seven films that influenced the upcoming Super 8.
Tom Shone Smart take on why the superhero movie is suddenly going retro with Captain America and X-Men First Class.
Towleroad I look at the men of May at the movies. Who is headlining? Who should we obsess over? 
Artsbeat Tribeca Film Festival Winners 

Towleroad Alex Pettyfer talks about his dick and reveals that he is one. Note to upcoming movie stars: do not act like stardom is a burden when you're still trying to win it. It's a turnoff -- most people would kill to switch places with you. If you turn people off before they're turned on, you're a trivia answer within a couple of years or completely forgotten.

Observations on Film Art wonderful piece on the visual language of movie endings and beginnings.
Gold Derby the Globes and the BAFTAs reveal their awards calendars. Once Oscar chimes in everyone else follows. 

Txnologist futuristic cars in the movies, they're totally into gullwings and butterfly wings and not today's boring doors that open sideways.
i09 lists the greatest handguns in sci-fi history so if you like Firefly, Farscape, Star Trek and the like, read on.

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