Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Breaking the Waves

The film itself is very interesting. No matter how much I didn't enjoy the experience of watching it, I cannot dismiss how impressed I was with the actual technique and decisions of Lars Von Trier. First, I really appreciated the film verité documentary style of filmmaking with such large grain patterns. It really made the film much more realistic in a grittier way to me. I found this particularly interesting because to me the film brought up interesting subjects and almost gave a varied and updated story of Dreyer's Ordet- or rather the inclusion of a holy fool type character in this story.

My actual experience of watching the film was definitely a trip. I hated- absolutely hated the film while I was watching it with the exception of the epilogue. Yet- why did the epilogue impact me so much? Looking back on it, I can see that what made the epilogue so hard hitting for me was the almost normal mysticism it had to it. When I saw Jan walking again, a whole stream of feelings came pouring onto me. All up until this point, I had been very dismissive of Bess; however, once I started to see Jan walk again I felt almost guilty for feeling that way about Bess earlier. Did she really end up truthfully sacrificing herself for love and having it work? I became filled with guilt while still at the same time a slight sense of wonder. At the very end of the film. when the Bells came back, I felt this joy. I felt a release to an extent- celebrating Bess's sacrifices for the first time in the movie and rightfully so. I was able to give Bess the burial and respect she deserved. However, then at the other side of the spectrum, I became doubtful or rather maintained some of my doubt, which was very interesting since at the same time I was able to experience a completely different feeling.

The reading really helped broaden my understanding of some parts of the movie. It helped me deal with some of the thoughts that I couldn't necessarily articulate or understand so much. I really liked the idea of how the film related to goodness and transgressing goodness all at the same time. I do agree with the article that it is easy to mistake Bess as a Christ-like/Joan-ofArc figure but that she is in fact different than that. It helped me deal with some of the thoughts I was having while watching the film and even after the film had ended. I think the idea of perception really plays a big role onto what the film is because it does indeed have a lot to do with the perception the audience has themselves to this experience of the film which indeed comes from their own previous experiences.

1 comment:

  1. This is excellent Matt. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your experience ... very interesting and I really appreciate the depth of your consideration. You are very much on the right track and again - I can't say it enough - I really appreciate you making an effort with these films, knowing they may not be your cup-o-tea. And as a whole, this is well considered and written. Nice work, Matt.