Tuesday, July 14, 2015

On Melancholia.


I was discussing the film Melancholia with a friend the other day. We had different experiences watching it. Mainly, I really got it, and she really didn't. 

If you haven't seen it, Melancholia is a film by Lars Von Trier that centres around two sisters, one of which, played by Kirsten Dunst, is depressed. According to the films wikipedia entry, the film's inspiration came from Von Trier living through a depressive episode, leaving him with "the insight that depressed people remain peaceful in catastrophic events."

I thought the languid, disembodied representation of depression was catastrophically on point. Dunst won a ton of awards for it, rightfully so. 


No doubt the film can be triggering, but I thought it was beautiful and poignant and yes, dark as fuck, but it's a movie about depression, so to those who don't get that, and find that space uncomfortable (from a space of privilege of not having to live with it) just fucking handle it for 2 hours. Maybe it can help some empathize. 

I haven't watched it since watching it originally, I'll eventually buy it (I have an extensive movie collection), since it remains my go-to reference as a film with a solid portrayal of depression. 

The films catastrophic event is the end of the world, brought on by the possibility of a rogue planet colliding with Earth. Dunst's character, being deeply depressed, handles the realization very calmly, since for many of us, every day is a struggle, every day is painful and often, and on any day it feels like the end of the world. 

So, scream that it's the end of the world, and I'll sigh and say, "yes."

The one unbelievable thing about Melancholia is that someone would turn-down sex with Alexander Skarsgård. A sign of the end-times, no doubt.

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