Sunday, March 27, 2005


I've always liked Lars von Trier's films. They tend to be pretty dark, and maybe depressing, but he always tells a really interesting story. I must confess that I never finished watching Dancer in the Dark though, because it seemed to just get sadder and sadder, and in the end I decided I didn't want my mood to plunge.

It took a while for me to get around to seeing Dogville, but after reading what Hazel had to say about it, I knew I had to.

At one point in the film it got so bleak that I was regretting ever getting it off the shelf at the video shop. Without wanting to giving away any of the plot, I'd have to say it was gruelling. Not boring or too-slow, but hard to watch. It was certainly a bit of a change from our last night's choice, Resident Evil - Armageddon.

I'd sum up Dogville's plot as - Woman cursed with excessive idealism seeks refuge in a backwater town and is cured.

The townsfolk who initially seem harmless and friendly turn out to be pretty nasty, and even the guy who supposedly falls in love with Grace, the beautiful fugitive, turns traitor through his passivity. On the other hand, Grace is a frustrating character because she just accepts all the crap that the Dogville folk dish out to her.

I was almost praying for a happy ending. If I didn't get it I would have had to follow it up with Zoolander, just to stop me from being suicidal. The ending was bleak too, but in a way that was highly satisfying for me.

But then, I'm all for revenge. Some great discussion about Dogville can be read here. And yes, I thought it was anti-American, though only because of the stills at the end of the movie to the tunr of Bowie's Young Americans.


Frally said...

I loved both Dancer In The Dark and Dogville, as bleak as they were. It's not often that you watch a movie that heightens your awareness of how you feel, even if they are rather negative feelings. It's far more satisfying than just "tuning out" for two hours.

Barry said...

Ooh, I really must watch Dogsville again, its sitting right here on my desk. Since I did my all too normal thing of sleeping through the first few minutes when I saw it at the movies, then end came as something of a surprise to me: bleak but just was my assessment.

I imagine the very bleak part of the movie for you was when Grace was chained up to that log - I found that very hard to take ("how dare they do that to Nicole!") but shit it was a brave movie for Nicole Kidman to be involved with.

Violet said...

This film invaded my sleep; I've only just managed to get it out of my head.

I agree with Barry, that it must be quite a hard role for anyone woman to take on.

For me, it got really hard to watch from the first rape. I have a hard time with rape scenes.

I left out the link in my post earlier, to an interesting discussion group about Dogville. Here it is -

hazel said...

the reason I enjoyed the film was that it dealt with ideas. i feel like there are so few movies i see these days that are engaging and leave you with anything to ponder afterwards.

Violet said...

And it was chockful of ideas, too - with a really hefty emotional impact though.