Posted by: ckckred | January 19, 2014

What Do You Think Of Lars von Trier?

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If you have visited any movie related site in the past year or so, chances are you probably heard about Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, which has already received much notoriety for its explicit sex scenes. In fact, Nymphomaniac is so big that the film is being split into two parts, with the first half receiving theatrical release later this year.  I guess it’s an appropriate time to ask what’s your opinion on Lars von Trier?

He’s a decisive director for sure, with some people thinking he’s a genius and others despising his work.  I’m somewhat in between.  I think his films very well made and crafted and cannot deny his craft.  However, his film’s messages seem muddled to me and I often cannot understand his characters’ intent or purpose, which typically seem to be covered with cynicism.  I’ve appreciated his pictures (I liked Melancholia, despite feeling mad and confused at what I just watched) and just completely disliked others (I couldn’t sit through Antichrist).  But what do you think?

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Responses

  1. Interesting post. He’s a really divisive film maker. He does manage to draw strong performances from actors, albeit while putting their characters through hell and back.

    • He does have a way with actors and I’m always impressed by the performances in his movies. But I often times find his characters to be a bit off-putting. Thank for commenting.

  2. I haven’t seen a lot of his stuff, but what I have seen (Melancholia, Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, etc), I have always liked. His naturalistic approach allows his actors to give some pretty powerful performances.

    • I agree he does any excellent job communicating with his actors but his movies are somewhat hard to digest. He has a unique style but I haven’t really adapted to it.

  3. I love him! His ability to depict human emotion, mental state, and struggle is unparalleled. His films might not be the most uplifting, but they’re as real as they come. His talent for evoking the most out of his audience is unrivalled, whether it be sympathy or disgust. I can’t wait for Nymphomaniac!

    • I agree, I might not be von Trier’s biggest fan but he does an excellent job conveying strife.

  4. This may be a bit controversial but I think he’s a bit overrated. He does do some interesting things with his camera but I just don’t care for his films.

    • I would agree with that. Von Trier is a talented filmmaker but his movies seem cynical to myself. I appreciate his work, but it’s not very enjoyable.

      • I’m with Keith. Never saw any of his films nor would I be keen to do it anytime soon.

      • Some of his work is very interesting but many of his movies are pretty repulsive. I liked Melancholia for example but hated Antichrist.

  5. “….and then I found out that I was really a Nazi, because my family is German. And that also gave me some pleasure. So, I, what can I say? I understand Hitler.” –Lars von Trier

    Yeah not a fan.

    • I dislike his personal beliefs as well, but I think he’s a talented director, albeit one whose films I appreciate more than I enjoy.

  6. I’ve seen three of his movies (Five Obstructions, Melancholia and the one with Nicole Kidman) and thought all of those were excellent. Should see more of his work to really make up my mind about what I think of him.

    • I really like what he’s done with some of his movies (I haven’t seen all of Breaking the Waves but I thought it was excellent), but some of his movies rub me off the wrong way. I’m interested to see where Nymphomaniac will go.

  7. I’ve only actually seen Melancholia and still don’t know whether I liked it or not. I’ve got Antichrist waiting to be watched but haven’t summoned the energy to watch it yet. Intrigued to watch Nymphomaniac though.

    • Antichrist is an interesting film. I know plenty of people love it but I stopped watching it after the first ten minutes. Perhaps a rewatch is due.

  8. I’m kind of a similar opinion to yours. I can appreciate his craft, yet I have a hard time getting behind his movies’ messages. The guy clearly hates humanity, and seems dead set on getting everyone to hate people right along with him.

    • I get the same feeling. For a lot of his movies, it feels like von Trier is flipping off humanity. His movies are well-made but not exactly pleasant to watch.

  9. I’ve followed his career since watching The Idiots during the whole Dogme 95 days. He’s a real trickster and enfant terrible, which is what I like about him; plus the sheer balls-out nature of his work. I’m really looking forward to Nymphomaniac, both parts of it!

    • I’ve always liked how von Trier has always defied conventions, even though I appreciate his movies more than I enjoy them. He does have a certain way with a camera that few other directors today do.

  10. I’ve only ever seen Melancholia, which is one of my favourite films. Very curious to watch Nymphomaniac though.

    • I liked Melancholia, but it left me frustrated. I feel that he’s a talented firector though and I’m interested in what he’ll do with Nymphomaniac.

  11. I have to admit to being a big fan of Von Trier. He always pushes the boundaries and I respect that. I loved Melancholia and really liked Antichrist but his best work is most definitely the highly experimental (and successful) Dogville.

    • I do like that von Trier never tries to settle with conventions, but his work is a bit frustrating. I was impressed by Melancholia but felt like I was missing on something. I haven’t seen Dogville though I’ve been recommend it a few times and am interesting in seeing it. Thanks for commenting.

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