Medea is in Corinth with Jason and their two young sons. King Kreon wants to reward Jason for his exploits: he gives the hand of his daughter, Glauce, to Jason as well as the promise of the... See full summary »
A troubled and solitary woman who suffers from an acute light sensitivity summons the strength to escape her persistent trials; however, the fateful morning which is only hours away, still seems so distant and pale. Can she take the step?
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
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Hypnosis and criminology get the once over in this highly disturbing first entry from maverick film-maker Von Trier. A washed up profiler returns home to a post-apocalyptic Europe from Cairo to investigate "The Lotto Girl" murders and becomes determined to prove the methods of his mentor (who has since gone mad) in catching the serial killer. Odes to Hitchcock and other classic film noir abound.
Von Trier manipulates every aspect of every shot (the use of color tones is especially alarming) to create a totally fantasized vision of psychological torture. This, much like his follow up masterpiece, "Zentropa" is the polar opposite of his "no frills" Dogma classics of more recent years "Breaking the Waves" and "Dancer in the Dark." Love them or loathe them, you can't deny the talent and thought that went into making these drastically different works or film art.
Unfortunately, by setting "The Element of Crime" in such a vaguely distant future (I can only guess this is Europe in nuclear winter) and pacing the film to be so hypnotically listless, there really is no heart to this film. "Zentropa" had historical context and better executed tension, and is thus far superior. The only context "The Element of Crime" has is someone else's nightmare.
The screenplay seems to be ahead of its time, as there are many depressingly cynical one-liners that David Fincher wish he had put in "Fight Club." That is the only hint of humor at all to break the oppressive feel of this film, and it is very very dark and nihilistic humor at that. Alas, while you can study and find value in the technical aspects of this film, there is no "joy" to be found, and we, much like the protagonist must awaken from this film nightmare by screaming "I believe in joy!"
Side Notes: ala Hitchcock, Von Trier has a cameo as "the schmuck of ages."
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