Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" inspired by the "Ophelia" painting by John Everett Millais

Am I the only one seeing this reference / inspiration ?


Marie-Noëlle said...

It stroke me, the minute I saw the picture. Probably we are not the only one

Nicolas said...

That is good then. Thanks for your message. Nicolas.

Anonymous said...

I thougt the same! And the funny thing is - the painting is, in a short glimpse, in the movie! :)

Toffe said...

The movie references heavily on high art, most notably on Tristan & Isolde with the Tristan Chord as one of the movie's leitmotifs.

Other references include Malevich and and in my opinion most importantly Pieter Bruegel the Elder. There is a striking similarity with the ad Justine was supposed to come up with a tag line and Bruegel's "The Land of Cockaigne." I'd like to think that the way in which Justine despises the ad represents the way in which she resigns (in a contrast to her sister) from all the things that Bruegel is seen to represent: idealised community life and traditions. Also, his painting "The Hunters in the Snow" is the one seen burning during the prelude and later in one of the books in the library.

These are just a few of my thoughts about the movie. I did feel a strong need to write about these to somewhere after seeing the film. Have a great day. :)

Anonymous said...

As said before, the painting also shows up in the movie, so it's a deliberate reference!

Anonymous said...

Its Waterhouse daling.... and the picture come directly in the movie

Anonymous said...

I've just seen the movie and kept saying this to my friends then ended up thinking I was the only one trying to see Ophelia in Justine! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

One should say that Triers main inspiration for the story and the execution comes from a Finnish childrens book from 1946 that by almost all reviewers been described with 'melancholia' as a main theme.

The refereces Trier could have looked to are thematic, dramatic and scenic elements in the book that:

Takes place by a house with a porch facing an archipelago
Close by the house there is a river that runs through a valley towards the sea
It is a festive day ...
The protagonists, a young man to be celebrated and a girl with golden locks coming late ...
The sky is behaving strangely
It's raining ashes
Comet hiding in the sky and cannot be seen, but they know it's there
The feeling of it’s increasing presence is described as ‘dragging’
Doom described in a book ...
It is estimated that the comet will be there in 3 days within the exact hour
The characters respond very differently to the dense atmosphere:
Some believe in science, others doubt it
One person reacts by wanting to have a tub bath ...
Some guests close their eyes and go into denial
There is one who says it like it is ...
One clings to his project and is desperate for it to be carried out
Another just accept that everything will be gone in a moment
The girl with the golden locks more interested in flowers
Despite this, a cake is central and must be cut
The protagonist, a worried person in denial and a little child go for a walk
They want to see the comet in a telescope
They come by a On the tour they collect long sticks
The comet comes closer day by day
The sky and the landscape changes
At home members of the family decorate the porch anyway
On the way the ones on a trip now see two suns in the sky.
One gets lost after having fed an animal
A tent is brought up as idea as a mean to try to rescue them
They embark for hiding in a cave
The sky becomes brighter and brighter
The wind rises and the sky lit up in blue as if a hydrogen bomb exploded ...

Sounds familiar?

Yes, it is the Finnish childrens book ‘Comet in Moominland’ from 1946, animated children's film in 1992:

Assia said...

No you're not the only one ;)

Anonymous said...

Also, Ophelia sings while she is drowning, and at the end of the movie, Justine suggests with irony that they could wait for death sitting outside and singing Beethoven.

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