6.2/10
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26 user 26 critic

Epidemic (1987)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 11 September 1987 (Denmark)
A director and screenwriter pen a script and, in the process, blur the line between fiction and reality.

Director:

Lars von Trier

Writers:

Lars von Trier (screenplay) (as Lars Von Trier), Niels Vørsel (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Allan De Waal Allan De Waal
Ole Ernst Ole Ernst
Michael Gelting Michael Gelting
Colin Gilder Colin Gilder
Svend Ali Hamann Svend Ali Hamann ... Self
Claes Kastholm Hansen Claes Kastholm Hansen ... Self
Ib Hansen Ib Hansen
Anja Hemmingsen Anja Hemmingsen
Kirsten Hemmingsen Kirsten Hemmingsen
Cæcilia Holbek Trier Cæcilia Holbek Trier ... (as Cæcilia Holbek)
Gert Holbek Gert Holbek
Udo Kier ... Self
Joergen Christian Krueff Joergen Christian Krueff ... (as Jørgen Christian Krüff)
Jan Kornum Larsen Jan Kornum Larsen
Gitte Lind Gitte Lind ... Self
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Storyline

A film director and a script writer (performed by Lars von Trier and Niels Vørsel themselves) write a screenplay, in which an epidemic spreads about the whole world. Like the protagonist they do not notice, that a real epidemic is developing around them. Written by Fredrik Klasson <fredrik.klasson@boras.mail.telia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story Udo Kier's character Udo tells Lars and Niels, is actually the real story of Udo Kier's birth. See more »

Quotes

Cabbie: What the hell. All a nigger needs are loose shoes, tight pussies, and a warm place to shit.
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Crazy Credits

The film's title appears in red letters in the upper left corner of the screen for the entire length of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trier's Element (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Tannhäuser (The Overture)
Composed by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
This Hypnotic Abstraction is Truly Very Atmospheric and Creepy.
9 September 2009 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

Epidemic appears to be all stylistic self-indulgence. It is filmed in black and white, with often purposely redundant subtitles. Each shot is very very long. Some are stoic, some are suddenly goofy, some are disturbing, mostly stoic. When there is dialogue, it is intellectually stimulating, but borderline irrelevant.

Mainly, it is that director Lars Von Trier and his screenplay collaborator Niels Vorsel play themselves, coming up with a last-minute script for a producer. This strand takes disproportionate turns with scenes from their script, in which Von Trier plays a radical doctor attempting to cure a modern-day epidemic. In an warped turn, the doctor finds that he himself has been spreading it. For so long, one is left without a clue as to why there is such a coincidence between the screenplay and the outside world, or any progressions of the different narrative strands' signifying signs. But it infects you. It burns you.

Whether or not the film is narcissistic, it is not form over function. Essentially, it is a basic exercise in what metaphysically affects the viewer. Consider the scene of the darker, quieter of the screenwriters in the subway, knowing predeterminately that the other one is going to die. Or when he looks in a mirror, turns to us, the camera, then the mirror again. Everything one expects would create a cohesive, sense-making narrative film is inverted and indeed develops an immediately conscious connection between itself and the audience.

That is not to say it eschews any fundamental aspect of quality. Udo Kier delivers one of the most amazing, fantastic performances I have ever seen. Really, many of the performances, whoever these actors, or characters, are, shock and deeply move us. Some scenes are entirely made up of uproarious laughter or breakdowns of screaming, in spite of the unapologetic stoicism and quiet permeating the film.

This hypnotic abstraction is truly very atmospheric and creepy. It is a transcendental, almost physiologically affecting virus that infests you for days upon being subjected to it. It is something that has to be seen and can hardly be explained. And that makes it a true work of art.


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Details

Country:

Denmark

Language:

Danish | English

Release Date:

11 September 1987 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Epidemia See more »

Filming Locations:

Copenhagen, Denmark See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$938
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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