Art Movies

The Art of Melancholia

This movie is insanely beautiful.

The first few minutes are in slow-motion, set to the prelude to Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde.” The planet Melancholia rising over the horizon is breathtaking.

The rest of the movie is slow-paced as well. But not matter, the imagery is so unwordly beautiful that even the end of life on Earth is majestic.

Tom

Tom McGee has been building web sites since 1995, and blogging here since 2006. Currently a senior developer at Seton Hall University, he’s also a freelance web programmer and musician. Contact him if you have the need for a blog, web site, redesign or custom programming!

5 thoughts on “The Art of Melancholia”

  1. I liked the way the film maker handled all the plot devices in making a movie about how different people react to a disaster.
    A rogue planet obliterates Earth, an expository montage set to the prelude of Tristan and Isolde and a narrative that jumps around in time revealing bits of the story a little at a time. All these different things especially the Rogue Planet could have gotten out of hand in terms of telling the simple story but it didn’t. It was all knitted together solidly.
    I enjoyed the way the story was told and found the movie original and thought provoking.

  2. It’s kind of the opposite of “Armageddon,” isn’t it?

    The potential for a story like this going down the road of the traditional disaster movie seems almost irresistible. But by downplaying the sci-fi aspects, your attention has to focus on the emotional reactions of the nearly silent characters who are isolated — from the rest of the world as well as to each other — at the house.

    The one “sciencey” aspect that plays out is how Melancholia’s magnetic field disrupts electronics on Earth, including (especially) communications. And that just serves to isolate the characters even more. Nobody knows, nobody cares, how the rest of the world’s population is reacting; it’s just the two sisters and the boy they have to protect.

  3. I agree, it was so stunning. Reminded me of the cosmic imagery from The Tree of Life and of course 2001: A Space Odyssey. I thought all the themes and elements of this film worked together really well. Check out my site for an exploration of these themes.

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