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The Element of Crime (1984)

Forbrydelsens element (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 14 May 1984 (Denmark)
A cop in a dystopian Europe investigates a serial killings suspect using controversial methods written by his now disgraced former mentor.

Director:

(as Lars Von Trier)

Writers:

, (dialogue translation) | 2 more credits »
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12 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Osborne
Me Me Lai ...
Kim (as Meme Lai)
Jerold Wells ...
Kramer
Ahmed El Shenawi ...
Therapist
Astrid Henning-Jensen ...
House Keeper
János Herskó ...
Coroner (as Janos Hersko)
Stig Larsson ...
Coroner's Assistant
Harry Harper ...
Portier 1
Roman Moszkowicz ...
Portier 2
...
Schmuck of Ages (as Lars Von Trier)
Frederik Casby ...
White Policeman
Duke Addabayo ...
Black Policeman
Jon Bang Carlsen ...
Angry Policeman (as Jon Bang-Carlsen)
Leif Magnusson ...
Hotel Guest
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Storyline

Fisher, an ex-cop, returns to his old beat somewhere in northern Europe after a thirteen-year hiatus in Cairo. His former mentor and role model, author of a treatise called "The Element of Crime", asks him to solve a series of murders involving lottery ticket sellers. Guided by the theories put forth in the book, Fischer retraces the steps of a suspect, Harry Grey, as recorded in a three-year-old police surveillance report. Written by Eddi Sommer <eddi@gmd.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 May 1984 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Element of Crime  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film in Lars von Trier's 'Europa' trilogy which illuminates the traumas of Europe in the future. The two other parts are Epidemic (1987) and Europa (1991). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Therapist: [to Fisher] Fantasy is OK, but my job to keep you on the right track. We are after the facts. You seem to return to Cairo and me whenever you have a problem. Two months ago you left Cairo, your wife, everything for a police job in Europe. Now you are back haunted by headaches. If you want me to help you get rid of these headaches, we must go back two months in the time. Back to where it all started. All I know... Europe has become an obsession for you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Portræt af: Lars von Trier (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Der Letzte Tourist in Europa
By Mogens Dam, Henrik Blichmann
Translated by Waltraut Andersen
Sung by Sonja Kehler
See more »

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User Reviews

What to think...?
16 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Von Trier has created some masterpieces, but also some beautiful and very flawed films. Still, as far as his style The Element of Crime is the first of his without the Dogme shaky-cam style. Let's get this out of the way. It reminds me a lot of Lynch's Eraserhead and Aronofsky's Pi in how technically brilliant, but also how surreal and how cold they are. But unlike those, this one really tested my patience at times. It has some brilliant sound design, and some really amazing lighting and cinematography. There's quite a few shots here that will linger in the mind, but as a whole the plot is quite messy and not very comprehendable. Some could say it fits as a Lynch film in a way, but I found this to be much more of a mixed bag than many of Lynch's works. Overall, as a journey through avant-garde territory with really surreal, stylized, and just unsettling and odd moments, it's recommended, but as a whole you may feel yourself checking the clock one too many times.


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