Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Björk, Von Trier & Dancer In The Dark

Bjork demands a certain curiosity of a listener/viewer that's hard to rival. There's no doubting she is completely round the bend, suggested by tabloids here, there, and everywhere. But that's her attraction. The wierd, wacky, starkness that's oddly and supremely wonderful. She's musically and physically captivating -- a gift that not many people have.

Most recently, I've given Bjork's album Homogenic a run, and have found its actually rather brilliant. Lyrically, it is very metaphorical, and emotionally, it is quite profound. I'd recommend it to anyone willing to give wierd a chance. Bachelorette is a particular highlight, as is Immature, Joga, and Alarm Call.

Lars Von Trier on the other hand, is not among my most favourite directors. There's wierd, and well then there's just cold. You have to admit, it's hard to warm to someone who constantly looks as if the world is about to end at any second.

This manifests itself into his films, most recently, Dogville, which bordered on tedium for much of the over-long running time. What I will say for it though -- and this is extremely significant -- the ending was one of the most powerful I've encountered in cinema. Von Trier's genius is in the way he makes you think about what you're seeing, and what that tells you about yourself, and the world we live in.

Of course, it's well-known that these two characters combined, creating Dancer In The Dark (2000), of which I've only just recently seen. I feel the need to profess my adoration of this cinematic masterpiece as it ranks amongst my favourite ever films. It brought out in me something that hadn't yet emerged, pulling at my mind, plucking at my heart. Dancer In The Dark has that extraordinary ability to emotionally move and intellectually strain, both to equally substantial degree. It may be divisive and controversial, but that's Von Trier, and there is no clearer nor phsyically shattering way to display his contempt than in Dancer In The Dark. I just can't believe I waited so long to see it.


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