Epidemic (1987) - News Poster

(1987)

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New on Video: ‘Breaking the Waves’

Breaking the Waves

Written by Lars von Trier and Peter Asmussen

Directed by Lars von Trier

Denmark, 1996

Director Lars von Trier is nothing if not creative. From films like Epidemic in 1987 and Europa in 1991, to last year’s two-part Nymphomaniac, he has managed to bring a continually imaginative photographic and narrative formula to nearly all of his films, the best of which ultimately end up masterpieces of contemporary international cinema. It was arguably his 1996 feature, Breaking the Waves, that first, and most dramatically, catapulted him to the front ranks of modern-day global filmmaking, particularly within the arthouse arena and festival circuit, and understandably so. This affecting film is a powerful work that delves deeply into often unspoken and unconventional recesses of faith and love. Its themes are profound, its performances staggering throughout, and its visual palette and filmic technique are replete with saturated hues, vigorous camera work, and an unabashed intimacy.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

"Nymphomaniac": Acts of Profanation

  • MUBI
The jurist Trebiatus defines the profane as that which is “Sacred or religious, and is then restituted to man’s use and property,” and this definition launches Giorgio Agamben’s “Eloge of Profanation.”1 The initial movement of pornography, as Agamben writes, was one of profanation, of restitution towards possible usage of the sexual act. Yet its profanation has been rendered powerless in the spectacle which pornography has become, in which not the bodies themselves are being exposed, but as Walther Benjamin writes ‘the conscience of being exposed itself’. And so pornography becomes the ultimate “unprofanable”—an act disempowered, ordered, assimilated, locked into a seemingly unchangeable relation, whose powers of profanation have been neutralized, and thus removed from potential usage by man.

This deviation of pornography’s initial potential changed the pornographic image into the ur-object of a consumption, one which leaves its image digitally intact, bolted into a potential cycle
See full article at MUBI »

Giveaway - Win tickets to the Lars von Trier season at BFI Southbank

This May, the BFI celebrates the sometimes controversial, always innovative films of Lars von Trier - from the beginnings of his trancelike ‘Europe’ trilogy, to his self-styled Dogme 95 movement and his most recent assaults on mainstream cinema, including Antichrist and Melancholia - and thanks to BFI Southbank, we're offering two readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to a film of their choosing.

Along with the aforementioned Antichrist and Melancholia, the season also includes The Element of Crime, Epidemic, Europa, Breaking the Waves, The Idiots, Dancer in the Dark, The Five Obstructions, Dogville, Manderlay and The Boss of It All. You can check out a full list of all the screenings and purchase tickets here.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, firstly make sure you like us on Facebook (or follow us on Twitter)...

...Then complete your details below, using the subject
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Udo Kier Reunites with Lars von Trier on ‘The Nymphomaniac’

  • The Film Stage
Production has already begun and a big cast is now in place, but Lars von Trier still had an old partner to sign for The Nymphomaniac. That person is Udo Kier, who announced in an interview with DreadCentral that he’ll be involved with next year’s two-part sex epic, making this just one of many collaborations with the Danish auteur. (For good measure, those others would be Epidemic, Europa, Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Manderlay, last year’s Melancholia, and the TV series The Kingdom. Quite the resume those two have.)

Despite no word as to who he’ll be playing, Kier told them “I’m off now to Germany to play a part in [The Nymphomaniac] with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Nicole Kidman and the nice boy from the Transformers; he is playing in it.” For the love of all that is decent, I only hope he didn
See full article at The Film Stage »

Isabelle Huppert Starring for Catherine Breillat In ‘Abuse of Weakness’

  • The Film Stage
Not a bad pairing, is it? ScreenDaily (via ThePlaylist) tells us that the controversial auteur and acclaimed actress will be joining forces on an adaptation of Breillat‘s own book, Abuse of Weakness — or Abus De Faiblesse — which centered on her experiences with a con man, Christophe Rocancourt. The two met in the middle of this past decade (she wanted to cast him in a film based on his own life, Bad Love), but their relationship ended when the filmmaker accused Rocancourt of stealing approximately €850,000 from her, following a stroke.

It’s clearly some deep, personal territory for Breillat — so, when you think about it, one could do a lot worse than cast Isabelle Huppert as themselves. This version of the story doesn’t veer too wildly from the past, as it concerns “self-destructive, hemiplegic film director Maud who enters into a dangerous friendship with flamboyant crook Vilko”; he’ll
See full article at The Film Stage »

Henning Bendtsen obituary

Cinematographer with a cool, austere style who linked the eras of Dreyer and Von Trier

If the Danish cinematographer Henning Bendtsen, who has died aged 85, had shot nothing else but Carl Dreyer's final masterpieces, Ordet (The Word, 1955) and Gertrud (1964), he would have been entitled to a place in the pantheon of cinema. Although he shot 57 features, it was his collaboration with the saintly Dreyer on these two films which conferred an enviable eminence on him.

"It turned out to be a very harmonious collaboration between Dreyer and me, which always will be the most valuable association I have experienced within my profession," Bendtsen recalled. "We quickly connected with each other, both as professionals and as humans."

As can be seen in Ordet and Gertrud, it is clear that Bendtsen understood what Dreyer meant by "realised mysticism". The contrasting tonality of lighting both reflects and creates the moods within the same frame,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Henning Bendtsen, 1925 - 2011

  • MUBI
Bendtsen and Dreyer on the set of Gertrud (Dfi); Ordet

"Danish cinematographer Henning Bendtsen — whose career stretched from the 1940s to 1991, with his final film, Lars von Trier's Europa — has died at the age of 85," reports Criterion. "Bendtsen is best known, perhaps, for the transcendent images he created with director Carl Theodor Dreyer on the films Ordet (1955) and Gertrud (1964). For the former, he devised what we believe to be one of the greatest shots in cinema history: a late-film, almost three-minute pan around the possibly mad character Johannes and his niece, Marren, fearful of her mother's death." And Criterion posts the clip. Bendtsen, by the way, supervised the digital transfers you see in Criterion's editions of Day of Wrath, Ordet and Gertrud.

"Forging a very direct link to Dreyer, von Trier hired Henning Bendtsen as Dp on parts of Epidemic, a collaboration that continued on Europa," writes Peter Scheperlern Carl Th Dreyer site.
See full article at MUBI »

A Massive List of New Netflix Instant Streaming Horror Titles

If you have Netflix and are a horror fan in need of something to watch this Labor Day weekend, one look at this gargantuan list I compiled of the new terror titles Netflix has added for instant streaming in just the first three days of this month should keep you busy until Labor Day next year. You'll find something for everyone, from older titles to recent releases, famous to obscure, classic to not-so-classic, monsters to maniacs - you name it.

For the record, I considered compiling this list in alphabetical order or by year of the film's release, but then I realized I had already spent well over an hour just sorting through the massive catalogue of titles Netflix has now made available for instant streaming and realized Labor Day would be over by the time I finished arranging this list in any kind of order. Ready? Here you go.
See full article at Dread Central »

Sexual Perversity in Denmark: An Interview with Lars von Trier

  • IFC
What does it take to be hailed the bad boy of Danish cinema? Among other feats, Lars von Trier co-signed the Dogme 95 manifesto, forcing regimented rules upon filmmakers in a cry for anti-blockbuster honesty. His own entry, "The Idiots," pissed people off for featuring able-bodied adults pretending to find their "inner spazz." He began two trilogies he has no intention of finishing (though one of the main actors from "The Kingdom" died after Part II), and forced aging mentor Jørgen Leth to remake his own short film with multiple sets of no-win restrictions in the experimental doc "The Five Obstructions." More notoriously, von Trier has plucked amazing performances out of actresses who don't seem to want to work with him again, including Nicole Kidman (who blamed scheduling problems for why she couldn't reprise her lead role in "Dogville" in the sequel "Manderlay") and "Dancer in the Dark" star Björk, who
See full article at IFC »

Lars Von Trier Shocks Cannes

Cannes loves to shock. And it loves those who shock the world. Danish director Lars Von Trier - who rose to fame with his early "Epidemic" and "Europa" and recaptured the magic of pure cinema with his Dogme 95 which suggested a return to natural lighting, prop-less sets and hand-held photography - came back to the 62nd edition of the Festival with "Antichrist"....
See full article at DearCinema.com »

DVD Review: Criterion Release of Lars von Trier’s ‘Europa’ Hypnotizes

Chicago – Lars von Trier opens his brilliant “Europa” by literally trying to hypnotize his audience. A barely lit train track moves slowly across the screen as Max von Sydow calmly incants a hypnotizing speech and countdown. “On the count of ten, you will be in Europa.” Is he speaking to the audience or to the man who just appeared on the screen when he says, “You are in Germany. The year is 1945.”?

Europa” is von Trier’s attempt to deconstruct the war movie, the thriller, the standard Hitchcock rip-off, and even his own nightmares in one fever dream of a film. “Europa” (released under the name “Zentropa” in the States, so as not to avoid confusion with “Europa Europa”) announced the arrival of a massive international talent, one that would go on to make great films like “Breaking the Waves”, “Dancer in the Dark”, and “Dogville”.

Von Trier may have
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Foreign Spotlight: The Boss Of it All

[/link] is a polarizing director who makes polarizing films. It seems critics and audiences either love or hate Mr. Von Trier as a director and either love or hate the films he directs. Known for his quirky, phobia-induced behavior, his name brings pretensions to any film he releases. His career has gone through several phases. He debuted with his hypnotic, technically proficient Europa trilogy (The Element of Crime, Epidemic and Zentropa) which were filmed with tight pre-planned shots and obscure lighting schemas. Then he produced the Lynchian-inspired hospital drama The Kingdom (remade later by NBC with Steven King taking dubious amounts of credit). While filming the The Kingdom he took the camera off the cranes and jib-arms, utilizing a strictly hand-held format with final result looking quite verite. Inspired by this experience he went on to find controversial dogma95 movement and dropped a trilogy of films (The Idiots,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

See also

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