In 'Gegen die Wand' Cahit, a 40-something male from Mersin in Turkey has removed everything Turkish from his life. He has become an alcoholic drug addict and at the start of the movie wants... See full summary »
A mute woman along with her young daughter, and her prized piano, are sent to 1850s New Zealand for an arranged marriage to a wealthy landowner, and she's soon lusted after by a local worker on the plantation.
19-year-old Tomek whiles away his lonely life by spying on his opposite neighbour Magda through binoculars. She's an artist in her mid-thirties, and appears to have everything - not least a... See full summary »
Drama set in a repressed, deeply religious community in the north of Scotland, where a naive young woman named Bess McNeil meets and falls in love with Danish oil-rig worker Jan. Bess and Jan are deeply in love but, when Jan returns to his rig, Bess prays to God that he returns for good. Jan does return, his neck broken in an accident aboard the rig. Because of his condition, Jan and Bess are now unable to enjoy a sexual relationship and Jan urges Bess to take another lover and tell him the details. As Bess becomes more and more deviant in her sexual behavior, the more she comes to believe that her actions are guided by God and are helping Jan recover. Written by
Jonathan Broxton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Helena Bonham Carter was originally cast in the role of Bess. One of the reasons she turned it down was because of the sex content, arguing she didn't feel comfortable enough with her body at that age. See more »
(at around 7 mins) When Bess is in bed with her sister-in-law, the blanket is on, then off, Bess' shoulder. See more »
Everyone has something they're good at. I've always been stupid, but I'm good at this.
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(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)
Emily Watson's performance is extraordinary, and Stellan Skargard is very good, but this is without a doubt the most degrading, depressing and tragic movie I have seen in a long, long time. I had to force myself to watch it, hoping that somehow something redeeming would transpire. Two and one half hours later I can say that it did not. I wish I could say that this was a great work of art, but it is not. It is a sad, very sad commentary on the madness of human beings, a twentieth century 'tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.' Particularly depressing were the church fathers in their beards and their stupidity. And be forewarned, the sexuality is degrading, and the very essence of human love is willfully and repeatedly perverted.
In making this movie, Director Lars von Trier no doubt sought a kinship with the tragedies of Shakespeare and the Greeks in which the fates destroy the protagonist because of a so-called 'fatal flaw,' a flaw the protagonist cannot help. Bess's fatal flaw was her childlike nature twisted by circumstance. In the great tragedies the essential purpose is to bring the audience, through its involvement and its identification with the protagonist, to a catharsis, a catharsis that cleanses the emotions and allows us to see the world as it really is, free of self-delusion. But Von Trier's bizarre and pathetic ending with those ridiculous bells in the sky was closer to bathos than anything else, and steered us not toward catharsis but into a kind of emotional limbo where not even emptiness is felt.
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