The Bride of Melancholia

by Andrew Gordon

September 7, 2012


abstract

Melancholia (2011), director Lars von Trier's gorgeous filmic meditation on the end of the world, is unique among apocalyptic cinema in that it makes global catastrophe a metaphor for clinical depression, both the filmmaker's and that of Justine, his heroine and cinematic stand-in. Justine is a bride who seems wedded to her melancholia and to the approaching planet Melancholia, which seems the physical symbol of her depression and of her longing for death. The cosmic catastrophe confirms the wisdom of Justine's depression and pessimism. For von Trier, who identifies with his depressed heroine, melancholics are a superior breed, more enlightened souls who suffer because the world is too much with them. 

article

 

 

                                                  The Bride of Melancholia

                                                        Andrew M. Gordon

 

            Melancholia (2011), director Lars von Trier’s gorgeous filmic meditation on the end of the world, is unique among apocalyptic cinema in that it makes global catastrophe a metaphor for clinical depression, both the filmmaker’s and that of Justine, his heroine and cinematic stand-in.  As the title declares, this is a film about depression.  In the first act, a black comedy, Justine systematically sabotages her wedding day because she is already married to her depression. In the second act, a closet melodrama about an isolated family in a country mansion by the sea, awaiting the end of the world, Justine paradoxically grows calmer as the end grows nigh, even as the previously stronger members of the family fall apart. Justine and her sister Claire swap their respective roles of sick woman and nurse. The previously stable Claire becomes increasingly panicked and hysterical, and Claire’s confident husband John commits suicide. The cosmic catastrophe confirms the wisdom of Justine’s depression and pessimism, so she helps her sister and little nephew Leo meet the end together.  For von Trier, who identifies with his depressed heroine, melancholics are a superior breed, enlightened souls who feel displaced, suffer because this world is inadequate, and search for true value and transcendence.  His film achieves that transcendence, but only through the destruction of the planet.  This movie is a romance that is, in the words of the poet Keats, “half in love with easeful death.”

“I’m very melancholic,” says von Trier (DVD). He also says, “I write a lot about myself.  She gets a depression, and this is more or less a description of my own depression.  Somehow I see myself in both of the sisters. You can also, if you choose, see them as one person, two sides of the same person.” “The idea for the film emerged while he was in treatment for the depression that has haunted him in recent years. A therapist told him a theory that depressives and melancholics act more calmly in violent situations, while ‘ordinary, happy’ people are more apt to panic. Melancholics are ready for it. They already know everything is going to hell” (Carlsen).

            Since Von Trier admits he is a depressive, it is not surprising that he should make a film about the end of the world.  He says, “I always expect the worst” (DVD).   According to one critic, “Lars von Trier continues to make the same film —about a masochistic woman who finds transcendence when the worst possible thing happens to her — in different genres. We’ve had it as a love story (Breaking The Waves), a musical (Dancer In The Dark), a small-town drama (Dogville), and a horror film (Antichrist); this is the science-fiction version, and the worst possible thing happens to everyone. . .” (Newman).

 Kirsten Dunst, who plays Justine, could identify with the character. “In 2008, suffering from depression,Dunst briefly checked into the Cirque Lodge centre in Utah. According to von Trier, this experience was crucial in her interpretation of Justine, whose pristine, successful exterior is but the sugar-coating on a core of pitch-black misery” (Brooks).  Dunst won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance. “I went to very vulnerable places. . . .  The thing I’m most proud of with this film is that depression isn’t really portrayed onscreen.  It’s not a very cinematic thing.  And I’m happy there’s a movie about that.  It’s really something that people who’ve been through it or who’ve seen people go through it will really identify with.”   Some critics agreed: “in a society that does not take mental illness as seriously as it should, we need representations that portray depression as truthfully as possible” (Zoladz).

            What is surprising is that the effect of this film about a depressed woman and the end of the world is not depressing; one reviewer called it an “ecstatic magnum opus” (Schwarzbaum); another termed it “a cinematic symphony that will sweep you away” (Champ).  It is a leibestod, a romance with death.

            Melancholia is in a long tradition of science fiction stories and films about the end of the world.  “Together with utopias and cautionary tales, apocalyptic visions form one of the three principal traditions of pre-20th century futuristic fantasy” (Stableford 195).  Mythology and religion going back thousands of years are filled with visions of the apocalypse, “but the influence of the scientific imagination did not make itself felt in literature until the late 19th century, and the end-of-the-world fantasy maintained many of its religious undertones until very recently.  .  .  . The earliest scientific romances of the world’s end are the products of Romanticism:  De Granville’s. . .The Last Man (1806) and Mary Shelley’s gloomy Great Plague story The Last Man (1826)” (Stableford 195).  Plagues were a favorite means of ending the world, followed by the cosmic disaster, first introduced by Edgar Allen Poe in “The Conversation of Eros and Charmian” (1839), in which life on Earth is destroyed by a comet which ignites the atmosphere.  H.G. Wells continued the tale of the cosmic catastrophe with his classic story “The Star” (1897), in which a rogue planet flies by Earth and most of humanity is destroyed. The 20th century introduced countless stories and films about global doom or the end of humanity through atomic war, overpopulation, plague, climate change, pollution, or the second coming. Thus far, the early 21st century seems to enjoy reimagining the zombie apocalypse, as in 28 Days Later (2002) and 28 Weeks Later (2007), Dawn of the DeadZombieland,  or the TV series The Walking Dead

            There is also a persistent tradition of films about the end of planet Earth through collision with a comet, meteor, asteroid, or planetary body, a subgenre of the disaster film, seen in such films as When Worlds Collide (1951), Meteor (1979), Deep Impact (1998) and Armageddon (1998). In 2011, there was Melancholia, and in 2012, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Perhaps the appeal of the cosmic catastrophe is that it cannot be blamed on man, unlike nuclear apocalypse or pollution, it is sudden, and it can be scientifically predicted and timed. The cosmic disaster film can show the reactions of nations, families, or individuals as the countdown to doom commences.  Some characters prepare to survive, launching a spaceship ark toward another world, as in When Worlds Collide; others try to save the planet through heroics, astronauts who attempt to torpedo the approaching asteroid, as in Armageddon.

But in Melancholia, nothing can be done, so as the clock winds down to doomsday it becomes a character study. “Melancholiais unconcerned about disaster film conventions. There are no news broadcasts detailing the approaching end, no attempts are made to stave off the cataclysm, and there are no lovingly detailed shots of dying cities and crushed iconic monuments. When the end comes, it does so in typical low-budget fashion. Von Trier, as might be expected, has little interest in these things. Instead, he studies the psychological and personality changes of the main characters, specifically Justine, Claire, and John, as the end approaches” (Berardinelli). Justine paradoxically grows stronger, Claire panics, and John commits suicide.  Von Trier “does not consider Melancholia to be about the end of the world and the human race but about humans acting and reacting under pressure” (Carlsen).

            The overture of Melancholia sets the mood and gives away some of the major events and the doom-laden ending. The effect is of predestination: we know from the beginning that the characters are trapped and that the planet will be destroyed. Von Trier says, “And some things may be thrilling precisely because we know what’s going to happen, but not how they will happen. In Melancholia it’s interesting to see how the characters we follow react as the planet approaches Earth”(Thorsen). 

            This opening tableau vivant is also disturbingly beautiful, a slow, brooding, gorgeous apocalypse which makes us anticipate the rest of the film.  The critic Manohla Dargis calls it “a masterpiece in miniature that is a palimpsest of literary, artistic and cinematic allusions.”  This overture consists of a montage of 16 hyperreal shots, hypnagogic, slow-motion images:  Justine, with limp, dirty hair, opens her eyes to reveal her deep depression as dead birds fall behind her; a huge, surreal sun dial is seen against a lawn; the painting “Hunters in the Snow”by Pieter Bruegel the Elder grows dark and bursts into flames; Claire struggles across the golf course, carrying her son Leo in her arms as her boots sink deep into the turf, leaving a trail of dark footprints; a horse topples sideways in a field at night; Justine is surrounded by white particles, perhaps insects, swirling around her like snow; Justine stands in her bridal gown with Claire and Leo on a dark lawn at night, Melancholia and the moon in the clouds; Justine on the golf course as lightning strikes a pole and electricity rises from her fingertips; Justine in bridal gown struggles to advance as she is tethered to ropes at her waist and ankles; through a window, a burning bush is glimpsed outside; Justine in bridal gown, holding a bouquet of lilies of the valley,floats on a stream like the drowning Ophelia in the 1852 painting by John Everett Millais: Leo in the foreground in white whittles a stick as Justine stands in the background, then Leo turns to look at us. These images of the characters are punctuated by shots of the dance of death between the tiny Earth and the huge, approaching blue planet of Melancholia, so that the movement of these three people coincides with the movement of the planets.

            Aside from the dance of the planets, and the ending shots of Leo whittling and Melancholia colliding with the earth, most of the events depicted in the overture either do not happen in the film that follows or do not happen as depicted: a horse falls, but not the way it is shown in the tableau; Claire flees across a golf course holding Leo in her arms, but her boots do not sink deep into the turf; lightning never strikes; and Justine never struggles against ropes or floats on a stream in her wedding dress. The imagery is intended allegorically. For example, when she is depressed at her wedding reception, Justine tries to explain her emotional struggle to Claire, “I’m trudging through this gray wooly yarn, things clinging to my legs.  It’s really heavy to drag along.”  The image literalizes Justine’s metaphor about her feelings. The overture, then, provides dream imagery embodying psychological states. These are dream states suggesting entrapment and doom: a powerful horse topples; a golf course, a field for play, turns into quicksand into which a mother sinks with her child; a bridal dress, typically associated with hope and fertility, here is connected with bondage and death. But this negative iconography is counteracted by equally dreamlike images of magic and exaltation: electricity rising from Justine’s fingertips; particles dancing around her like snow; and celestial bodies circling in the vastness of the solar system, until the final, orgasmic explosion. 

            The stunning emotional impact of the overture is enhanced by the music of the prelude to Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, ladled on like rich syrup over the imagery, which becomes the theme music associated throughout the film with the planet Melancholia.  The dance of death of the planets has a majesty enhanced by the lush Wagnerian theme.  Wagner described the opera as “one of endless yearning, longing, the bliss and wretchedness of love; world, power, fame, honor, chivalry, loyalty and friendship all blown away like an insubstantial dream,” for which there is “one sole redemption — death, finality, a sleep without awakening” (Dargis). Von Trier says he chose this music very early in the project, not melancholic but romantic music.  “That somehow turned the whole thing into a very romantic film, also in the images. . .  It is highly romantic” (DVD commentary).    

            If Melancholia is a romance, then what is the subject of that romance?  Certainly not the marriage of Justine to Michael, which dissolves during the wedding reception. Instead, Justine seems wedded to her melancholia and to the planet Melancholia, which seems the physical symbol of her depression and of her longing for death. Kirsten Dunst, who plays Justine, says, “I had to identify with this planet. . . .  Justine comes from this planet, maybe, it’s her Mother Earth coming to take her.”  Dunst also said, “Her relationship with the planet turns into her being almost a representation of the planet at the end.  And so it feels almost like she has some kind of psychic relationship at the beginning of the film.”  (DVD). So there is a complicated symbolism connecting Justine with the planet:  it is her mother yet it is also herself, or the embodiment of her melancholia.  Moreover, as I will argue, there is as well a strong and unmistakable erotic component in her relationship with the planet.  Melancholia is introduced during the wedding reception; soon, it will become the rival and replacement for her groom Michael. To again quote Keats, “Ay, in the very temple of Delight/ Veil’d melancholy has her sovran shrine. . . .”  

            From the beginning, Justine seems determined despite herself to ruin her wedding. The opening scene is of Justine and Michael after the wedding, en route to the reception in a stretch limo which cannot negotiate a bend in a narrow country lane. The bride and groom at first make a joke out of the difficulty and take turns with the driver, attempting to steer the huge car. But soon they must abandon the vehicle and walk, arriving hours late to face an angry Claire, who has organized the lavish reception, and her furious husband John, who, as he frequently reminds Justine, has paid for it handsomely. The stalled car prefigures the defeat of Justine’s marriage.  Michael asks Justine, “Whose brilliant idea was it to rent the stretch?”  If it was Justine’s, then she may have secretly been sabotaging the marriage from the start. Part of her wanted to get married, perhaps a desperate try for normalcy, but part of her knew it would never work because of her overpowering mood swings.  Significantly, it is also in this same scene that Justine first notices the approaching planet Melancholia in the heavens, which John at first mistakes for the star Antares.

            Justine’s mood alters dramatically for the worse when her parents quarrel at the wedding dinner. Her father is a boozy old flirt, a practical joker who pranks the waiter by stealing spoons. Her mother, in contrast, is a bitter misanthrope.  Not surprisingly, the two are divorced and sit at separate tables. Perhaps they represent the split between Justine’s manic and depressive sides. The father turns his toast to Claire into an attack on his ex-wife, whom he calls “domineering.”  The mother stands up and announces to everyone, “What a load of crap. . . . Justine, if you have any ambition at all, it certainly doesn’t come from your father’s side of the family. Yes, I wasn’t at the church.  I don’t believe in marriage. . . . I just have one thing to say: enjoy it while it lasts. I myself hate marriages. . . . Especially when they involve some of my closest family members.”  

            None of this bodes well for Justine or her marriage.  A reaction shot shows her face has fallen, and, noticing this, Claire takes Justine aside, saying, “Listen to me: we agreed that you weren’t going to make any scenes tonight.”  Justine’s slide into melancholia coincides with her parents’ open quarrel at the wedding dinner. It may be that their disastrous marriage left Justine unbalanced, and that her destruction of her own wedding, which seems self-punishing, is really a way to punish her parents.   

           Justine soon leaves the reception to ride a golf cart across the course at night and gaze up at the star (the planet Melancholia) as the Wagnerian theme music crescendos. This retreat begins Justine’s movement during the evening, as she alternates half-hearted attempts to join the festivities with increasing withdrawal to commune with her melancholy.

            Shortly after, Justine retreats once again from the wedding party to soak in a hot tub. In this, she mirrors her mother, who is taking a bath in her own room at the same time.

            When Justine returns, Michael says, “I can see that you’re not feeling well.  I should have seen it already yesterday.”  So Justine has been sliding into this depression for a while.

            When John and then Claire accuse her of reneging on her deal to have a happy wedding, Justine turns to her mother for reassurance.  But her mother offers only cold comfort. When Justine says, “I’m frightened, mom. I have trouble walking,” her mother dismisses these obvious symptoms of a depressive crisis, saying, “You can still wobble, I see.  So just wobble the hell out of here. Stop dreaming, Justine.”

            Justine tries to go through the motions, but when it comes time to toss the wedding bouquet, she is so paralyzed that Claire must toss it for her. Next, when Michael initiates sex, she rebuffs him and again retreats to the golf course. Justine feels free only outdoors, under the open skies. There she knocks down Tim, a man she has just met, squats over him, and furiously humps him in a sand trap. This is the first suggestion of her erotic relationship with the planet Melancholia. The stranger Tim is merely an object; she is turned on not by him but by the presence above her of this new planet. By raping Tim, she is both breaking her marriage vows to Michael and consummating her marriage to Melancholia.

            Yet Justine is still looking for someone to stop her free fall. Her sister and brother-in-law are angry with her, she has alienated her bridegroom, and her mother is no help, so she turns to the last person she can ask, her father, who is about to leave.  She begs,“Please, dad, I really need to talk with you,” asking him to stay the night and have breakfast with her in the morning.  He agrees, but later she finds he has gone, leaving behind only a note in his room:  “See you soon. Kisses from your stupid dad.”  The last person on whom she could depend has deserted her.  Men do not come off well in this film:  Michael is kind but weak, her father is a fool, her brother-in-law John is arrogant, and her boss, Jack, is a bully.

            Having disposed of her husband, Justine next rejects her boss, who has been pestering her all evening for the tagline for the company’s latest advertising campaign. Here the profound anger underlying her depression surfaces as she tells him, “I hate you and your firm so deeply I couldn’t find the words to describe it.  You are a despicable, power-hungry little man, Jack.”  So in one night, Justine has thoroughly trashed her life, destroying both her marriage and her career. Some people supposedly go mad under the influence of the full moon; Justine’s lunacy seems triggered instead by the planet Melancholia.

            If the first act was entitled “Justine,” the second and final act is named after her sister “Claire.”  The setting in both acts is the same: the home of Claire, John, and their little son Leo, a beautiful mansion fronting a golf course by the sea (the film was shot in a castle near Gothenburg, Sweden). A taxi delivers a bedraggled, broken Justine, now so deeply depressed that she is practically catatonic: they have to carry her, undress her, and put her to bed. All she wants to do is sleep. Justine resists when Claire tries to give her a bath, and even rejects her favorite meal of meatloaf which Claire has cooked; the food tastes like ashes in her mouth. These scenes are an accurate depiction of clinical depression, based on von Trier’s own experiences.  Charlotte Gainsbourg, who plays Claire, says, “when Lars’ wife saw the film, she said that the scene that touched her the most was the scene in the bathroom, when I’m trying to pick Kirsten up and give her a bath. Because she saw herself and Lars in that moment” (O’Hehir).

            Slowly, Justine improves.  Outdoor activity with Claire—horseback riding, gardening—helps. But as Justine gets better, Claire grows increasingly anxious about the approaching fly-by of Melancholia.  Some predict global disaster, but John, an amateur astronomer, reassures her. He is excited by this unprecedented celestial event and involves little Leo in preparations as they follow the path of the planet through a telescope on the patio. Nevertheless, Justine finds John stocking disaster supplies, just in case, but he asks her to keep this fact from Claire.

            Strange things begin happening:  an inexplicable rain of white petals in the garden and horses spooked. Perhaps the strangest occurs late one night:  unable to sleep, Claire goes outside one night and sees Justine walking across the lawn.  Claire follows and discovers Justine naked on a riverbank, bathed in the light of Melancholia, gazing at the planet as she touches herself and the Tristan and Isolde theme music rises. The scene resembles a ritual out of witchcraft. Justine worships the planet; even more, she imagines herself the bride of Melancholia.

            Soon Justine tells Claire, “The Earth is evil.  We don’t need to grieve for it.  Nobody will miss it. . . .  I know things.  And when I say we’re alone, we’re alone. Life is only on Earth, and not for long.”  Justine has extended her mother’s pessimism into a kind of cosmic nihilism.  She welcomes the coming of her lover, Melancholia, and the destruction of Earth.

            After John’s suicide, Claire behaves like Justine at the wedding reception:  trying to maintain the pretense of normalcy for Leo’s sake, going through the motions, making breakfast, but unable to suppress her growing panic.  Claire flees across the golf course with Leo, just as Justine had fled to the course to escape the wedding party.

When Claire returns, she begs Justine for her help, “I want us to be together when it happens. Outside on the terrace. I want to do this the right way.”  But Justine mocks Claire’s plan:  “You want me to have a glass of wine on your terrace?  How about a song?  Beethoven’s Ninth?  How about we light some candles?. . . . Do you want to know what I think of your plan?  I think it’s a piece of shit.”  If Claire behaves like Justine at the wedding reception, Justine now behaves like her mother, who could be cold and cruel, did not believe in rituals, and said “What a load of crap.”                                           

            Nevertheless, to comfort her little nephew, Justine finds a way to unite the family.  Since the wedding reception, Leo had been asking his beloved Aunt when they would build caves together, apparently a long-standing promise of Justine. Now she says they will construct “the magic cave,” a place to hide so Leo won’t be afraid. Says von Trier, “we melancholiacs don’t value rituals. . . . It seems so phony. . . . And if there’s something inside and beyond, I can relate to the ritual. . . .  She [Justine] is longing for something of true value. And true values entail suffering. That’s the way we think. All in all, we tend to view melancholia as more true” (Thorsen).  For von Trier, who identifies with his depressed heroine,“we melancholics” are a superior breed, more enlightened souls who suffer because the world is too much with them. They are sensitized to the phoniness of society and long for “something of true value.”  The old rituals, such as weddings or a glass of wine on the terrace, are hollow; they have lost their magic. So Justine invents an alternative ritual to meet the end together, “to do this the right way.” She and Leo build a teepee out of sticks, sit under it on the lawn, and hold hands with Claire.

  When the final cataclysm comes, they are still holding hands, and Justine confronts the end with her eyes open. The critic Roger Ebert says he was struck by her dignity and bravery in the face of violent death, “Here is a character who says, I see it coming, I will face it, I will not turn away. I will observe it as long as my eyes and mind still function.”   But perhaps Justine does not flinch because she welcomes the coming of Melancholia and the death of the planet.  For her, it is, in Shakespeare’s words, “a consummation devoutly to be wished.”  According to von Trier, Justine longs for a place where she belongs, and being devoured by Melancholia fulfills that wish (Thorsen).  Yet some critics wondered whether the film was simply von Trier’s “acting out his own suicidal fantasy on a global scale” (Stevens).

 The end of the film is nevertheless moving, because we have been through a harrowing emotional journey with these characters, and although they die, they die united, holding hands.  Von Trier says, “I think it’s the most happy ending I’ve ever made. . . . The sisters, for the only time in the film. . .embrace each other” (DVD).

One last note:  Why did von Trier ruin the release of the film at the press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, in which he confessed to sympathizing with Hitler and to liking Albert Speer, and said “okay, I'm a Nazi"  (Huffington)? These strange and inappropriate remarksovershadowed the film, caused him to be banned from the festival and to become, for a time, the most hated film director in the world,.

Let me speculate that von Trier was unconsciously mirroring what happens to his heroine.  Justine’s wedding should have been a personal triumph, a moment of great happiness.  So should the opening of a potentially award-winning new film at Cannes.  And just as Justine felt an odd desire to publically humiliate and punish herself, ruining her own wedding, so von Trier, seated next to Kirsten Dunst at the press conference, felt compelled to ruin the premiere of his new movie.

As Freud writes in “Mourning and Melancholia,” “The patient [the melancholic] represents his ego to us as worthless, incapable of any achievement and morally despicable; he reproaches himself, vilifies himself and expects to be cast out and punished.  He abases himself before everyone. . .” (Freud 584). What more morally despicable character is there than a Nazi?

 The melancholic also lacks normal feelings of shame but instead “finds satisfaction in self-exposure” (585). This shamelessness also characterized Von Trier’s appalling remarks at the press conference.  According to Freud, in melancholia, “we perceive that the self-reproaches are reproaches against a loved object which have been shifted away from it on to the patient’s own ego. . . . They are not ashamed and do not hide themselves, since everything derogatory that they say about themselves is at bottom said about someone else” (586). Just as Justine’s self-punishment may be a way to punish her parents for their disastrous marriage, so von Trier’s calling himself a Nazi in public may be an attack against his father.  After years of thinking he was Jewish, von Trier discovered that his real father was a German. “I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew. . . and then I found out that I was really a Nazi. Because my family was German. . . which also gave me some pleasure. So I'm kind of a... What can I say? I understand Hitler. . . . okay, I'm a Nazi” (Huffington).           

Making Melancholia may have helped Von Trier temporarily to control his depression and to distance himself from it, but, if his curious behavior at the press conference is any indication, it did not cure him. If Justine is the bride of Melancholia, then Lars von Trier may be the groom.

 

 

Works Cited

 

Berardinelli,  James. Review of  Melancholia.  Reelviews, Nov. 8, 2011:

http://www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php?identifier=2377

 

Brooks, Xan, “Kirsten Dunst: after the apocalypse,” guardian.co.uk,  

4 October 2011:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/oct/04/kirsten-dunst-melancholia-interview#start-of-comments

 

Carlsen, Per Juul, “The Only Redeeming Factor is the World-Ending,” Film (Danish Film Institute), May 4, 2011: http://www.dfi.dk/Service/English/News-and-publications/FILM-Magazine/Artikler-fra-tidsskriftet-FILM/72/The-Only-Redeeming-Factor-is-the-World-Ending.aspx

Champ, Christine,  “Melancholia Revels in Sadness and Beauty, film.com, Nov. 24, 2011:

http://www.film.com/movies/review-melancholia-revels-in-sadness-and-beauty

 

Dargis, Manohla, “This Is How the End Begins,” New York Times, Dec. 30, 2011:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/movies/awardsseason/manohla-dargis-looks-at-the-overture-to-melancholia.html?_r=2

Ebert, Roger. Review of Melancholia.  Chicago Sun Times, Nov. 9, 2011:

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111109/REVIEWS/111109970

 

Freud, Sigmund, The Freud Reader, ed. Peter Gay.  NY: Norton, 1989: 584-89.   

Huffington Post Entertainment, June 30, 2012,  “Lars Von Trier: 'I'm A Nazi... I Understand Hitler'”:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/18/lars-von-trier-im-a-nazi-_n_863512.html

 

Melancholia, Magnolia Pictures, 2011.  DVD.  Director: Lars von Trier. Screenwriter:
Lars von Trier. Cast: Kirsten Dunst (Justine), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Claire), Kiefer Sutherland (John), Alexander Skarsgård (Michael), Charlotte Rampling (Gaby), John Hurt (Dexter), Stellan Skarsgård (Jack). Cinematography: 
Manuel Alberto Claro. Special Effects Supervisor: Peter Hjorth.

Newman, Kim, Review of Melancholia.  Empireonline.com,  

http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/ReviewComplete.asp?FID=137205

 

O’Hehir, Andrew, “Interview: Charlotte Gainsbourg talks von Trier’s Melancholia,” Salon.com, Nov. 9, 2011:

http://www.salon.com/2011/11/10/interview_charlotte_gainsbourg_talks_von_triers_melancholia/ mov

Schwarzbaum, Lisa.  Review of MelancholiaEntertainment Weekly, Nov. 15, 2011:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20483133_20518693,00.html

 

Stableford, Brian, “The End of the World,” The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, ed. Peter Nicholls.  NY: Doubleday, 1979:  195-96.

Stevens, Dana, “Apocalypse Lars von Trier,” slate.com, Nov. 11, 2011:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2011/11/lars_von_trier_s_melancholia_reviewed_starring_kirsten_dunst_and_charlotte_gainsbourg.single.html

 

Thorsen, Nils. “Longing for the End to All,” an interview with Lars von Trier.  Melancholia Press Kit for Cannes Film Festival:

http://www.festival-cannes.com/assets/Image/Direct/042199.pdf

 

Zoladz, Lindsay, “Is ‘Melancholia’ a feminist film?  salon.com Nov. 23, 2011:

http://www.salon.com/2011/11/23/is_melancholia_a_feminist_film/

 

To cite this article, use this bibliographical entry: Andrew Gordon "The Bride of Melancholia". PSYART: A Hyperlink Journal for the Psychological Study of the Arts. December 15, 2009. Available http://www.psyartjournal.com/article/show/gordon-the_bride_of_melancholia. September 7, 2012 [or whatever date you accessed the article].
Received: August 24, 2012, Published: September 7, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Andrew Gordon