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In The Dark
5.1 Dolgy Digital and DTS Surround Sound
Line Platinum Series
commentaries, one with Writer/Director Lars von Trier, Producer
Vibeke Windelov, Technical Supervisor Peter Hjorth, and Artist
Per Kirkeby. Second by Choreographer Vincent Paterson.
100 Cameras, Choreography
Filmography for all principle actors
Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare, Jean-Marc Barr and Joel
||Lars von Trier
in the Dark" (Best Picture Cannes Film Festival) tells the story
of Selma (Bjork), a factory worker in rural America. Selma is
going blind due to a hereditary condition, and she is saving
money for an operation that will keep her son from sharing her
fate. She escapes her harsh reality by listen to the rhythms
in the sounds around her and daydreams herself into musicals,
for as Selma said nothing dreadful ever happens in a musical.
However Selma's life begins spinning out of control when a friend
betrays her trust, and she spends more and more time in her
musical world seemingly unaware of the fate that awaits her.
"Dancer in the Dark" is a movie that sneaks up on you. The beginning
is a bit slow as you watch and learn about the different characters,
and you don't feel connected to them. Then without warning the
movie takes a radical turn to the left, and drags you hurtling
along an unexpected path with Selma. By the end of film you
can't take your eyes of Bjork. This movie is worth watching
for Bjork's incredible performance, and I can't imagine anyone
more deserving of the Best Female Performance Award she won
at the Cannes Film Festival.
of color in the film is an important one. Whenever Selma has
a musical fantasy, the color would become unnaturally bright.
This effect is clearly evident in the DVD. Since most of the
film was shot using hand held cameras, to give it a more intimate
feel, there are a few noticeable cuts in the film. However the
quality of the image itself is flawless. Just as important as
color was the use of sound. The musical numbers are all clearly
heard. The wonderful quality of Bjork's voice isn't lost. You
can clearly hear the patterns in the sounds that constantly
surrounded Selma. Even in the factory the voices are easy to
make out, with out being overbearing. Since the movie is dialogue
driven, it is difficult to tell the difference between the DTS
and the 5.1.
is packed with a lot of high quality extras. There are two documentaries:
100 Cameras: Capturing Lars Von Trier's Vision, and Choreography:
Creating Vincent Paterson's Dance Sequences. The first one is
especially interesting. When shooting all of the musical numbers
in the film the director has 100 cameras running at every angle.
This commentary explains how and why they did this, along with
the logistical nightmare it proved to be to the crew. Vincent
Paterson who did all of the choreography for the movie hosts
the second documentary. He explains how the process of creating
the dance numbers was carried out from creating the steps, rehearsals
to final cut. Included in the documentary are the Train Song,
Cradda Song, and the Courtroom Song dance sequences. The sequences
are intercut with rehearsals in studio, on set, and final cut.
Most interesting though is an alternative dance sequence for
the 107 Steps sequence. Under the alternative scenes there are
three differently cut dance sequences. It is difficult to tell
exactly what has been changed. There is one for Cradda, and
two for Train Song. An especially nice feature is called Selma's
Music. This is a menu that will take you directly to any of
the songs in the film. To round out the extras there is the
Cast and Crew filmographies, and the original theatrical trailer.
two commentary tracks for this film. The first one is by Writer/Director
Lars von Trier, Producer Vibeke Windelov, Technical Supervisor
Peter Hjorth, and Artist Per Kirkeby. This commentary is packed
with information. All four people recorded separate commentaries
and then they were spliced together. In this case it was probably
the best idea. All of participants have heavy, but understandable,
accents. However if they were trying to talk at once, it would
be easy to get lost. This is a wonderful selection of people.
They each provide wonderful information on the area of the film
they worked with. The second commentary is by Choreographer
Vincent Paterson. Paterson is an American and easy to understand.
It was a bit worrying to see a choreographer commentary because
the choreography takes place in a limited number of scenes.
However Paterson talks through the whole film, and not just
about the choreography. His is just as interesting as the first
commentary. He covers almost every aspect of production from
a unique viewpoint.
film is not for everyone. It is a dark drama whose songs haunt
you. However it won Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival
for a reason. The film is definitely worth renting, especially
to see Bjork's amazing acting debut. It has enough extras to
rate it as worth buying, but it isn't the sort of film one would
watch over and over again.