Last night I held Depress-o-Rama 2003 at my house. Back to back soul-sucking movies, along with enough alcohol and snack foods to keep us from jumping out the window. By the time Dancer in the Dark was over I was just staring at the screen and silently sobbing to myself, as was everybody else in the room. I normally don’t react so strongly to movies, but…man those were good.
I have a hunch I’ll be shellshocked for quite awhile.
I know both of these movies have been discussed a lot on the boards, but I want to know: how long did it take for you all to recover from them?
Oh, God. Well, I haven’t seen Dancer in the Dark, but I certainly remember my reaction to Requiem for a Dream. I remember taking out the trash after the movie and crying the whole time. It took me about an hour to fully recover. It was Ellen Burstyn’s performance that got me. I’m not usually one to be maudlin, but I won’t watch that movie again because even thinking about certain scenes too much makes me cry. The last movie that made me respond that way was Dead Man Walking. I don’t know what affected me so much, but I cried all the way home from that one, too.
I got Requiem for a Dream from Netflix, I watched the first 15 minutes of it, then didn’t watch it any more. I could tell that Ellen Burstyn’s character was going to disintegrate before my eyes, and I didn’t feel I could take it. She can be a mighty fine actress.
I saw it last weekend when my brother rented it with his girlfriend, then cam over for dinner. At first I didn’t want to watch, I told my brother it would be “too gross and depressing”. I finally just “sucked it up” as per bro’s advice, and then as the FBI warning was flashing on the screen, he said, “Oh yeah, this is the Director’s Cut!” I had a little moment of :smack: , but I got over it.
Dancer in the Dark was actually shown on an airplane flight I was on, believe it or not. I tried to watch it, but kept having to turn it off because it upset me too much. Even so, I nearly burst into tears at several points (especially at the end). Deeply disturbing, but as I hadn’t watched it all it didn’t take that long to get over.
You watched those two movies, with booze in the equation, and somehow managed NOT to smash a bottle and slash your wrists?
You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din (whatever your gender may be).
Not on the same lines, but I did a similar thing a few years ago with Leaving Los Vegas, Untamed Heart and part of a fifth of Wild Turkey. The idea was to get good and depressed on Vegas and ween myself out of it with a cute Marissa Tomei/Christian Slater love story.
I hadn’t heard anything about Untamed Heart other than who was in it. The very moment Slater caught the hockey puck, I knew I had not chosen wisely.
I remember the audible sobbing in the theater at the end of Dancer in the Dark. God, that was a traumatic filmgoing experience.
Let’s put it this way: I can now listen to my The Sound of Music soundtrack. But I’m far more cautious about the movies I choose to see, and tend to avoid the ones that I think will depress me. So in a way I still haven’t completely gotten over it.
Not seen Dancer in the Dark - simply because I know I need to see it ‘solo’…
RFaD is a HARD film to watch if you take it seriously tho - at the end I was convinced I’d NEVER watch it again in fact - but someone I recommended it too bought it for me on DVD and so one day - I will…
Agreed on EB’s performance - literally breathtaking…
Both of those movies really f*cked me up! I literally SOBBED for at least 30 minutes after Dancer in the Dark was over. Thank god I was at home- seeing it in a theater would have been too much! RfaD didn’t made me sob, but it left me feeling really violated. I felt raped by that film.
The only other movie to effect me that way was Sophie’s Choice when
She has to choose which of her children can live, and which has to go to the gas chamber.
Oddly enough the first time I was watch Requiem for a Dream was when I was high (on pot not H). Left me feeling a little grimey but nothing too intense. Saw it again sober and had a similar reaction. Now I have it on my computer and watch scenes when I get bored.
I had a similar reaction to Grave of the Fireflies. The first time was kind of sad but after a couple of viewing it got sort of boring.
Never saw Dancer in the Dark.
Maybe I don’t have a soul afterall.
RfaD didn’t stick with me for too long, but DitD wiped me out. It wasn’t until I figured out that it was basically a joke, a mean prank played on the audience, that I “recovered” from it. Oddly, that realization left me with a greater respect and appreciation for the movie.
Can I take this opportunity to say how much I hatedDancer in the Dark? I was insulted by how manipulative and phony it was. Granted, I was expecting a lot because I listened to the soundtrack non-stop before I saw the movie and still love the soundtrack, and I liked the concept when it was described to me, and I’d heard a lot about how moving it was. But after watching it I just thought it was an insult to the audience, a good idea horribly mishandled, and a waste of Bjork’s talent.
I suppose it’s depressing in the sense that the following story is depressing: “A cute puppy loves to be rubbed on his stomach and is dressed in a little sailor hat. He’s tied to a tiny wagon carrying kittens and baby ducks in it. He carries the wagon to a street that is being repaved. They all begin to sing The Rainbow Connection together. A steamroller comes and crushes them all.” Such pathos! At least Bambi vs. Godzilla didn’t drag on for 15 hours.
Lars von Trier had better run away if he ever comes face to face with me.
I found RFaD boring. Watched a lot of it in FF. Strikes me as an updated Reefer Madness. Future generations will probably watch it and giggle at it.
There are in fact bad consequences to taking drugs, but the stuff in RFaD was over-the-top and didn’t have much to do with what really happens. Showing the male leads being gang-raped in prison, frex, would be a lot more realisitic.
If you ask me, you’re one of the few people who got it: your paragraph above describes Von Trier’s intentions better than most of the reviews I’ve read of this movie. But the reasons you give for hating it are the same as my reasons for loving it.
Of course it was manipulative and phony: that was VT’s point. With DitD, he’s accusing the audience of relying on movies (and by implication, TV, etc.) for our emotional lives. Of course it was an insult to the audience. He’s saying that if you’re stupid and emotionally and artistically lazy enough to abdicate responsibility for your emotional well-being to the media–to make yourself vulnerable to the cynical manipulation of Spielbergian Hollywood, then you deserve what you get. He’s rubbing the audience’s nose in its own gullibility.
Oh my God. Please tell me you’re kidding. Understand that I’m not trying to insult you, but I’m not buying a word of that. I’m not even renting it.
I will grant you that when Von Trier was wrapping his cold, clammy, incompetent hands around every one of the sincere performances in that movie, he made sure to keep enough distance from it so he could be absolved of responsibility. The whole movie does feel like a smug-ironic cop-out, like someone who stands back while other people make an earnest attempt to make something meaningful and then comes in either to take credit for it or to mock them for being so maudlin, depending on the audience reaction. A more charitable Von Trier apologist than I would claim that he “left it open to interpretation.” I say baloney; he’s a self-satisfied egomaniac (a lot of this is based on his lame “Dogme” nonsense and his spoiled brat-like behavior at Cannes) who makes pointlessly manipulative movies and then demands to be called a genius for them.
Even if you assume that the whole production was a deliberate manipulation and a comment on the audience’s ignorance, does that in any way justify it? Do you really want to watch the work of a man who considers himself so far superior to his audience? I mean, in more than just a cheap conspiratorial way, a kind of “Hey, Lars, buddy, I get what you were saying. Those other yahoos sure are morons, though, aren’t they?”
And I would also say that even if that were the true intention of the movie, then he still failed. For one, he didn’t let anyone in the cast in on his little joke, since they all played it as best they could – if they weren’t being sincere, you’d think they would’ve hired real singers. And if it were a mockery of the triteness of Hollywood, why did he film it in that annoying pseudo-cinema verite style? I wouldn’t have minded being manipulated if it were at least enough of a spectacle for me to enjoy it while I was being mocked. After hearing the plot synopsis and listening Cvalda on the soundtrack, I’d expected a huge, colorful, spectacular musical number – but instead we just got more ineptly-framed video with the color knobs slightly turned up.
Anyway, sorry for the lengthy hijack. That movie just pisses me off like no other. “Of course! That was the point, you see!” Grrrrr.