ISBN 13: 9780780026704


9780780026704: Epidemic

From controversial director Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark) comes the bizarre story of a director (played by von Trier himself) and a writer who create a script about a mysterious plague that engulfs Europe, only to find their horrific scenario coming true in real life. Featuring Udo Kier (Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, Suspiria, Armageddon), Epidemic is a dark and original horror film with a twist: Is the epidemic real, or is it only a dark figment of von Trier's imagination?

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It's reassuring to know Lars von Trier was always unconventional. Epidemic, von Trier's second feature, comes close to being a horror movie, except it keeps derailing itself to noodle while a director (played by von Trier) and screenwriter (screenwriter Niels Vorsel) improvise a scenario about a plague epidemic. Their struggles are shot in grainy 16 mm., while flashes of the intended film are in stunning 35. Epidemic is meandering enough to test the patience of even devoted von Trier fans, but it always looks good even when it looks bad, if that makes any sense, and the finale--which involves hypnotism, one of the Danish director's early obsessions--will give a chill to genre fans looking for a "gotcha." Von Trier regular Udo Kier pops up, and the film wouldn't be complete without its logo: the title branded onto the upper-left corner for most of the movie. Lars, you devil. --Robert Horton

Additional Features:

An audio commentary (in English) by Lars von Trier and screenwriter Vorsel plays like a joke upon a joke, since they are commenting while watching themselves onscreen playing filmmakers commenting on the movie they are trying to make. Von Trier has some good observations, though he is often heard to snicker over his early effort: "It's hard work to see this film." Freedogme, an hour-long conversation on von Trier's Dogme filmmaking manifesto, unites the Danish maestro with two Dogme directors, Lone Scherfig (Italian for Beginners) and von Trier actor Jean-Marc Barr, plus Wim Wenders, in a four-way telephone conversation from their respective homes. Each has a video camera trained on him/herself, which von Trier makes the most imaginative use of (he goes canoeing during the conversation). By turns insightful and useless, it will work for Dogme fans. --Robert Horton

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