Why i like Von trier movies

This post is part of the LAMB directors chair for Von Trier

First off, let me say i am not a fan of the directors personality. However, that does not mean i think his films should be dismissed without merit. While most of his films are depressing, but i don’t believe that is a negative. I can deal with depressing when done right,and i think Von Trier does this consistently for the most part(Personally i kind of feel Antichrist gets overshadowed by its most infamous scene). Also, he gets some amazing performances out of his leads. I will admit his shaky cam style gets annoying at times, although his more recent films don’t feature that nearly as much. And now i will list some of my favorite Von Trier films

DogvilleThe use of a soundstage may seem odd at first, but what makes this movie worth watching is its fascinating look at human nature. It shows how quickly people can turn on and take advantage of each other when given the opportunity,something that still happens today sadly.

Dancer in the DarkProbably one of the saddest musicals ever, the combination of upbeat music sequences mixed in with the dark story makes for a interesting combination. Trier’s talent for getting great performances is also fully on display here, as Bjork isn’t known for acting.

Breaking the WavesA twisted tale of sexual discover, small town paranoia, and religion. The ambiguity of whether Jan truly wants Bess to do the things he asks of her or whether its due to his injury also adds a interesting element to the movie. The film tackles many themes, such as what some people will do for love, and how people can be quick to condemn what they don’t understand without going for simplistic answers.

MelancholiaProbably triers most accessible film(from what i’ve seen anyways). It manages to have the happiest ending i’ve seen in a Von trier film, and also lacks the brutality found in most of his works. It is also a bit more stylized than most of Von trier’s recent work.

EuropaWith striking visuals, it is obvious this was made before Trier got involved in the Dogma 95 movement. However, this does mark the beginning of the typical plot of a Von trier film. A innocent/child like soul ends up manipulated and taken advantage of by a unfair world. While this out does feel a bit too indulgent for my tastes, i think it is one worth watching.

Honorable Mention

The Element of CrimeAnother film with striking visuals, the reason i put this under honorable mentions is because while i like the directing in this one, the script i feel is uneven.

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22 Responses to Why i like Von trier movies

  1. I don’t like Lars von Trier films… I LOVE THEM!!! To me, he is the greatest filmmaker in the world. He even says so. I don’t care what kind of shenanigans he says, he is the greatest filmmaking prankster ever!

  2. vinnieh says:

    I need to watch more of his films after reading your post.

  3. Tyler says:

    I agree, all these films are quite good. I think he will do interesting things in the future.

    • Thanks, and yeah i will look out for what he does next. Although i personally wasn’t a big fan of the Idiots or Antichrist(And like i said in my post i found the script for the Element of Crime a bit uneven),but i think i like more of his stuff than don’t so that’s good

  4. sati says:

    Though I only like Melancholia, probably because it doesn’t go the typical route of Von Trier humilaiting the woman and making men look like weak cowards there is no denying that he makes interesting movies with wonderful lead performances.

  5. Chris says:

    Every new Lars von Trier film is like an event for me. Many geniuses are (or were) a little insane, and he is no different ( :

    I totally agree with what you say about Dogville, and well-put about Breaking the Waves

  6. vinnieh says:

    From what I’ve read about his films, he seems to be very good at drawing out honest and sometimes emotionally brutal performances from actresses. Do you agree?

  7. Novroz says:

    I haven’t seen any of his movies yet but I really want to see Melancholia as I read lots of good review on it.

  8. Red says:

    Great write-up. I love LvT. You’re completely right when you say that he does depressing movies, but he does depressing movies right.

    He always gets terrific performances out of his actors, and always has important messages that come with his movies. Top 5 director in the world for me.

  9. I’m not too big a fan. I find his movies overly drawn out and excessively over the top in terms of controversial content. I just don’t dig it. But I can admire the fact that he employs talented actors to tell a story. I am often intrigued by the actors/actresses listed in his numerous films.

    But I can only handle so much of his style…long, droll, drawn out, slow, drama-loaded, depressing, but visual.


    • The only movie of his i really wasn’t into was Idiots,but he definitely has a distinct style.Generally when me and my dad feel like we’ve seen too much depressing stuff too often we try to balance it out with something light

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