Lars von Trier, who suffers from Parkinson's, fears everything but cinema

Lars von Trier, who suffers from Parkinson’s, fears everything but cinema

The announcement of the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier caused a collective grief among viewers who loved him and the 12 films he began making since the early eighties, when he was 28 years old. One of them wrote: “I am sad as if a dear friend had fallen ill with the dreaded disease.” So far, we do not know much about the details of the 66-year-old artist, who is preparing to present new episodes of his series “The Kingdom”, at the next edition of the Venice Film Festival. We also do not know what stage of the disease that famous people such as Muhammad Ali and Ronald Reagan suffered from previously. All that his company, “Zyntropa”, said in a statement, is that von Trier is in good condition, and is being treated for his symptoms.

Anyone who knows a little or a lot about the brilliant Danish director knows that the man lived a difficult and complicated life that made him the artist he would later become. That pure spirit is able to create and innovate under the most difficult psychological conditions. It can even employ suffering for the sake of art. He grew up in a communist family, not a religious one. Thirty-three. The addiction to alcohol and sedatives, which he suffered from throughout his life, found an interview in his films, which were always filled with characters looking for a way out of their crisis, lost, violent and introverted characters, a history of depression that he inherited, fought and coexisted with for a long time, to the extent that in recent years he turned into a man who seems Eighty and only in his sixties. In more than one interview, he said that his psychological state sometimes made him feel like a “blank white paper”. Alcohol addiction has become the only thing that helps him to overcome his demons, and the chronic anxiety that he has always suffered from, and his films are the best evidence of what is going on in himself.

The controversial

Von Trier was famous for his controversial style that draws from the source of pessimism and melancholy, especially that view of human nature, similar to a number of filmmakers from Dreyer to Bergman who paved the way for him to say his word about man, without forgetting the Russian Andrei Tarkovsky, the greatest reference, Who left such an impression on Von Trier that he gifted him his movie “The Antichrist”, which is the most problematic of all his films.

However, what Von Trier was most famous for was the “Dogma 95” movement launched by his compatriot Thomas Winterberg in Paris on March 20 (March) 1995 on a festive occasion around the centenary of French cinema. Through it, he called for saving the film elements in order to achieve “cinematic chastity”, by adhering to 10 norms governing the film industry, including a portable camera, a plot that is not based on superficial stories, 35 mm filming, and not mentioning the director’s name in the generic, and other rules that lasted 10 Over the years, about 50 films have been produced worldwide. It is noteworthy that von Trier himself only made one “stupid” film, according to these strict rules, and then returned to the cinema occupied by “traditional” standards, regardless of what traditional means in a case like his case.

Von Trier found the freedom that his country enjoys as a playground for his ideas. Neither the press nor the censorship nor the public will be a sword that hangs on the necks of artists, as is the case in many developing countries. All this, backed by his talent, cultural background and living experience, made him unleash his imagination to make a provocative cinema, Crazy, knows no bounds and does not recognize taboo, her strength lies in her ability to say things as von Trier imagines them and to go far along previously uncharted paths. The Danes’ religious and cultural make-up are behind their cinematic “rudeness” that distinguishes them from the rest of European filmmakers. There is a clear audacity to bring up incendiary topics on the screen. This tendency was fully embodied by von Trier, whose every new film became the focus of attention, and a torrent of attention flowed towards him, especially after he received the “Palm d’Or” in Cannes for his film “Dancer in the Dark”. At the beginning of the millennium, many of his films were made in the crazy atmosphere of the nineties and beyond, experiences that are difficult to repeat now with the dominance of the Tehran atmosphere over cinema and its workers. These films would not have been possible without this madness and this freedom, which is deeply linked to the lifestyle of its makers.

Europe Trilogy

His first three feature films, “The Element of Crime”, “Pandemic” and “Europe”, which were all shown in Cannes between 1984 and 1991, were part of a trilogy called “Europe”. The Waves (1996) for which he won the Grand Prix at Cannes. An overwhelming sense of hurt and humiliation engulfs one of us when we first see this film. I still remember how I walked out of the theater, the screenplay carried the pinnacle of von Trier’s style of disturbing the viewer and entangling him in An uncomfortable situation and even made him feel guilty, at the same time, the film constituted a complete break with everything that preceded it, on all levels.

“Dancer in the Dark” (2000) made millions cry around the world, and persuaded a jury headed by French director Luc Besson to award him “The Palm.” Von Trier here, unusually, resorted to melodrama, with the help of the Icelandic singer Björk, for a musical film that has no parallel in it. Cinema, he used a hundred digital cameras to capture strange angles, and the film came in a transitional period when digital was beginning to take over the cinema. Hollywood, however, loses her sight and her son is threatened with the same fate unless she can save money to pay for the operation. When her neighbor Selma is falsely accused of stealing her life savings, the drama of her life escalates to a tragic end.

In “Dogville” (2003) starring Nicole Kidman, von Trier tells the story of a village that does not exist except in the scope given to the viewer’s imagination, houses separated by imaginary walls, no roofs under which residents can shelter, and borders drawn in chalk, on a land of barely an area A stage where a dozen characters with cartoons that cannot be categorized among other types of human beings live. With “Manderlay” (2005), von Trier crystallizes the experience, being the second part of “Dogville,” this time taking place in the spring of 1933, on a vast farmhouse in Alabama, Grace discovers, with astonishment, that whites still treat blacks as slaves. Wanting to put an end to this situation, earning the trust of those she wants to defend first, with his mild decor, Manderlay returns to the stage setting that was in the previous Von Trier movie, but this time, it’s not Kidman but Bryce Dallas Howard, the filmmaker’s daughter. Ron Howard, von Trier, who inspired Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weil to write the script for the film, explained: “The idea for the three-part film was about the character of Grace. My previous films are dark and ironic. America is a topic that interests me, because it occupies a very big place in my life and in the lives of each of us. I consider that the United States occupies 60 percent of my thinking, and I feel that I am concerned with everything related to this country, but I cannot vote if I want to change things. So, I make films about America.”

Meditation on the ceiling

Before “The Antichrist” (2009), starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, von Trier is said to have spent many months staring into the void, he stared into the ceiling of his sleeping room. For years, he was only able to write screenplays under the influence of a mixture of alcohol and drugs, which plunged him into a “parallel world”. The Antichrist caused confusion in Cannes, the story is about a couple who lose their child in an accident during sex, the woman feels responsible, her therapist husband (psychiatrist) tries to take over her treatment, the treatment will take them to a far room in the woods, where the woman and her son used to spend some time, this These are the outlines, but in the details there are harsh scenes that the faint-hearted cannot bear.

With Melancholia (2011), von Trier made one of his most important films, inspired by a bout of depression, and he also found inspiration in the idea that sad people tend to calm down during natural disasters, to celebrate their wedding Justin and Michael (Kirsten Dunst and Alexander Skarsgard) give a welcome Luxurious at the home of Justin’s sister and brother-in-law, while the planet Melancholia heads toward Earth, not much can be said about the film, which is ultimately a stunning visual experience. However, what happened during his press conference in Cannes, interrupted the joy of discovering an extraordinary work: von Trier said in the course of the conversation that he “understands Hitler”, so the world rose and did not sit still. The festival immediately considered him an “unwelcome person”, and the press became furious with him and no longer counted negative attitudes towards him in light of his accusation of anti-Semitism. Most likely he did himself a disservice by making a case he had needed, and then apologized and retracted that slip which at the end of the tour was a misuse of the word’s power in a public place, von Trier cracked a joke, joking rather than heavy jest, in a case still addressed To it needs velvet gloves.

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“Nymphomniac” (2013) seemed another cinematic shocker that shouldn’t be put to anyone’s hands, the biopic of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who suffers from hypersexuality from childhood to old age. An erotic “series” that touches porn, is loaded with philosophy and carries the viewer to several psychological states, fun, laughter, repulsion and pleasure. Von Trier’s talent was manifested in deconstructing the meanings of sex, love, lust, sin, cruelty, phantasm and faith, and put all this in a narratively complex cinematic framework, morally provocative and aesthetically bold. I don’t know anyone who is so good at raising the voice that others want to suppress in it, and I don’t know anyone else who portrays frustration as a source of creativity and pleasure, even if von Trier stopped after this film, he was given to the cinema as much as he gave Mizoguchi in “Street of Shame” or Kubrick in Eyes Wide Chat.

“The House That Jacques Built” (2018) is his last film to date, the film that brought him back to Cannes, the festival from which he launched, after a rupture of several years due to his famous slip, was a step like an attempt to turn a new page and turn the old, the film caused an uproar. As usual. It must be said that the film community was apprehensive about what von Trier would bring to him. The film is “dangerous” as usual, releasing pent-up feelings in the audience, bringing the distance between conflicts, telling about the eternal struggle between the need to create and the desire to kill, the film concluded with a revolutionary discourse about good and evil. , making his hero Jack (Matt Dylan), the serial killer, the spokesperson for the artist who embodies him. And not any artist, but the cursed artist who does not understand anyone and who feels wronged, as if von Trier wanted through this film to respond to all attempts to tame and frame art and make it useful, purposeful and beautiful. This is a cinema that can only be imagined by a person with a tormented soul, who chooses to face the world rather than make peace with it. Once again, von Trier, who suffers from many forms of phobias (the most famous of which is not getting on a plane), seemed to fear everything, except standing behind the camera, and mostly This standing is treatable.


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