Lars Von Trier’s latest film, Melancholia, was released in November and I had the opportunity to see it recently. It’s a hauntingly beautiful film that questions what it means to face one’s imminent destruction. Melancholia, a newly discovered planet, is on a collision course with Earth, and this time Bruce Willis can’t save the day.
Von Trier has long been associated with the Dogme 95 movement, a purist film making manifesto that requires films to be shot on location, without soundtrack and no special effects. Manifesto brilliantly breaks out of this mold, showcasing the work of cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro, with incredibly lush slow motion shots and beautifully composited shots of planets colliding.
This movement away from Dogme 95 also allowed Trier to use Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde as the soundtrack to the film, which imbues everything with a slow burn that matches the emotion of the story perfectly.
If you can see this in the theater, do it.