There’s nothing that gets me ready for a good self-indulgent sadfest quite like the movies of Lars Von Trier. And, as it's basically never ending winter over here on the east coast, I'm giving myself full license for a mopey movie week. So get yourself into some well-worn pajamas, grab some tissues, and let’s talk the Depression Trilogy.
These movies have received a LOT of flack. And while they are definitely not without problems, the loudest criticism is the same stuff you always hear when sex and violence in movies come up: it’s misogynistic, crude, and pornographic. Now, trilogy is NOT for the faint of heart, like…at all. But I think boiling the movies down to an artful way to get off and hate on women is, frankly, lazy.
(Cue shots fired sound effect.)
Antichrist (2009), Melancholia (2011), and Nymphomaniac (2013) explore three faces of depression through bizarre versions of movie genres we all know and love: a horror film, a disaster movie, and a coming of age story. They also work like a piece of music in three movements and even reflect concerto structure: opposition, cooperation, and independence. Or fast, slow, fast. He’s using bases we already understand to evoke emotions and contorts them, making for three sections of one story that play out between the real and the surreal. All in all, you’re in for a super confusing ride. But rest assured, the films are so perfectly plotted, it’s really an experience to see how they all fit together.
But like…in a good way?