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Critics reviews
Dancer in the Dark
Lars von Trier Denmark, 2000
Having rarely been an admirer of von Trier’s work since The Element of Crime (1984), I too have sometimes been willing to think the worst of his intentions. But Dancer in the Dark seems to me self-evidently a serious, carefully thought-out film, and by the far his best. It only half works, but that successful half is enought to elevate it to the rank of an essential movie experience.
December 01, 2000
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Lars von Trier makes movies out of marzipan, and if our multinational supervisors have their way, we may not have any other kind to see or live in—full of sound, fury, and emotion and instantly disposable. The man’s a fucking seer, and Dancer in the Dark shows us the way.
October 27, 2000
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Mr. von Trier manages to pile on so many layers of unreality that the captious critic feels silly calling attention to any single improbability. For example, it is hard enough to believe in a revival theater in the outlands playing nothing but old Busby Berkeley musicals. It is harder still to believe that Selma’s best friend, Kathy (Catherine Deneuve), would “describe” the dance movements to Selma by running her fingers over Selma’s hand.
October 06, 2000
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[Breaking the Waves’] fatuous theological aspects (complete with deus ex machina) have been jettisoned in favor of high-octane melodrama; unlike Bess, Selma takes full responsibility for her actions, making her plight that much more heartbreaking. In an era dominated by irony and cynicism, it’s both startling and invigorating to see a movie—particularly an “art movie”—that tugs so relentlessly and violently at the viewer’s heartstrings. Some will no doubt rebel. My advice: Surrender yourself.
October 01, 2000
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