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Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier | SpringerLink
BBC News. Retrieved 22 December Bjork vowed never to act again after making Dancer in the Dark in , despite winning a best actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival. October Bjork: Wow and Flutter. ECW Press.
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Retrieved 11 October Archived from the original on 9 December Retrieved Retrieved 17 October Archived from the original on 16 October Retrieved 16 October Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 December ABC At the Movies. The Guardian. Retrieved 7 May Retrieved 22 May Xan Brooks leads a critics' roundtable on the highs and lows, the sublime to the ridiculous at the Cannes film festival, before sailing into the sunset.
See video at Retrieved 27 May Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media.
- Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier!
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Retrieved 10 July CBS Interactive. Retrieved 6 March Chicago Sun Times. Some reasonable people will admire Lars von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark," and others will despise it.
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An excellent case can be made for both positions. San Francisco Chronicle. New York Post. NYP Holdings, Inc. Retrieved 11 February September 2, Retrieved October 14, Archived from the original on 20 September Retrieved 17 May Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 25 February Scarecrow Press. Screen Daily.
Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Great Spanish Films Since Filmography Awards and nominations. Set in Washington State in the mid s, Dancer in the Dark tells the story of Selma Jezkova, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia who suffers from a genetic condition that will eventually leave her blind. Selma adores the golden-age musical, and the viewer accompanies her, as her sight deteriorates, into her aural world of hearing music in noise and of imaginatively constructing colourful musicals from her bleak reality.
As with a Hollywood musical, these episodes offer an escape from the brutal reality of the narrative world.
Selma kills him because he asks her to do so while trying to prise her cash from his grip. The film consciously refuses to provide narrative clarity for why Bill begs Selma to kill him, but this event sets in motion a process through the US justice system whereby Selma is tried, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Marks sees this as crucial to intercultural cinema as a mode of address that can speak from positions of marginality, foregrounding identity as a process rather than a position. Dancer in the Dark , however, foregrounds ideas of both the haptic and the intercultural through the figure of Selma — a myopic, immigrant factory worker who loves and lives through these Hollywood musicals.
Dyer positions these feelings as responding to real social tensions, inadequacies or absences. According to Dyer, the musical conveys feelings of energy, abundance, intensity, transparency and community, which function as temporary answers to social issues of exhaustion through work, scarcity, dreariness, manipulation and social fragmentation. Musical convention typically presents these social problems in the narrative world of the film, only to resolve them through the formal qualities of the musical numbers.
As cultural texts, musicals are structured by contradictions between narrative and musical number, speech and song, walking and dancing, reality and fantasy, and so on. The successful performance comes to stand in for a musical performance, presenting the ultimate valorization of Hollywood entertainment. Dancer in the Dark , like the Hollywood musical, is self-reflexive in the way it both is and is about the musical, yet it takes this self-reflexivity further in the way it engages the body through affect and the nonrepresentational to render the body consciously reflective and establish an intersubjective engagement with Selma.
This is what I reflect on further through Marks and Dyer. Both Dyer and Marks draw on C. Meaning arises through these signs because a viewer has been taught by entertainment, by the musical and by a sociocultural context how to respond to them. This distinction between the two authors determines their understanding of affect.
For Dyer the utopian sensibility of the musical can therefore serve specific ideological agendas. Here utopia is to be understood as an ideal place where social, political and moral issues can be negotiated and seem to be resolved.
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Dancer in the Dark certainly does provide us with a freedom of feeling that knows no definition. In a manner that has come to be expected from self-declared enfant terrible von Trier, the film radically refuses to approach the musical genre and employ its representational strategies in a conventional way. Understood most simply, Dancer in the Dark is a parody or subversion of the genre.
However the film also provides perhaps one of the most concerted efforts to think through an interrogation of the musical; it not only deconstructs but inhabits the musical in an affirmative way through its recasting of musical codes in the haptic register and its location of utopia as non-place of sensation felt within the body of its protagonist. The choice of The Sound of Music as an intertext is itself interesting in the way it sets the tone for a dismantling of the genre.
As a late musical, The Sound of Music is in some ways a knowing text, developed at a point when the genre was facing extinction. He argues that It is essentially the music that cheers, not thinking of the nice things, for when, later in the film after Maria has temporarily left the von Trapps , the children attempt to reprise the song, the result is lugubrious, dispirited. The Sound of Music is therefore just as much, if not more, about the sound of music as it is about a governess and a captain falling in love in Austria during the leadup to World War II.
This profound misunderstanding of the song converts the nonrepresentational value residing in the music, performance and act of singing into the representational value residing in the set of discrete objects and demonstrates its failure, as Selma is unable to keep up with the music. This myth is important in the musical, for it masks the technology and elaborate calculation necessary for its complex production, making the musical appear to be part of nature rather than culture. In bricolage , Feuer writes, performers make use of props-at-hand — curtains, movie paraphernalia, umbrellas, furniture — to create the imaginary world of the musical performance.
This bricolage , a hallmark of the post-Gene Kelly MGM musical, creates yet another contradiction: an effect of spontaneous realism is achieved through simulation. The performance is stripped of the myth of spontaneity, demystifying the musical as life tries and fails to approximate the condition of musical performance. What is revealed instead is the simulation on which musicals depend and the contradictions that they negotiate and bridge. Yet the transition into a wholly contrasting visual aesthetic for the musical number makes these props-at-hand hard to recognize and accept as part of the diegetic world of the film, interrupting the myth of spontaneity and its function in the service of realism.
Dancer in the Dark , however, makes no attempt to reconcile the aesthetic disjunction between the static camera, fragmentary editing and colourful artificiality of the musical numbers and the saturated colours, natural lighting and handheld camera of the narrative.
Dancer in the Dark Film Review Essay
That these oppositions are not overcome means that the nonrepresentational cannot be considered iconic in the way that Dyer suggests. It is the coding of emotion, the affective code of sensibility, which allows the nonrepresentational qualities of the musical to be considered iconic. While the viewer may therefore recognize the nonrepresentational ingredients in Dancer in the Dark , they lack both the affective and cinematic coding required to stabilize their meanings.
The utopian feelings of the musical world are structured by an insurmountable difference that suggests this world is at a fundamental distance from the world of the narrative. For example, Marilyn Miller dancing a cinderella dance even though she is from Indiana, which she is not counted from upper class image.
Pluralism is a mixing of everything, such as cultures, images, and beliefs in American life 2. Do you. He doing something no one has ever done before which is another reason why this album was such a huge hit. Jackson really made sure that each song had its own type of sound and a certain kind of style.
You don 't have to die to prove. If I was to reduce my description of "Dancer in the dark" to one word, it would be daring. Its immediate effect on me was stronger than that of maybe any other film I've ever seen. It shook me, stirred my emotions, made me think and reflect, it disturbed me in the most positive sense of the word and it still does. Its radical make, boldness and consistency exceeds all expectations and probably everything that's come before.
This is the perfect example of a director's vision uncompromisingly realized. To be fair, I have to say that "Dancer in the dark" is one of those films that people either deeply admire and love or hate and find ridiculous.
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If you belong to the latter category, nothing I write will make you rethink your opinion, due …show more content…. Selma, however, harbours a dark secret. She is afflicted with a hereditary blinding disease that eats away at her sight as she grows older. She works horrendous hours of every day and night to save up to pay for an operation that will give her son the chance of a life free of blindness.
Selma is saved from the crushing sadness of her existence by music.
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