LARS VON TRIER’S MEDEA
Story: A queen is given one day to leave her kingdom because the King found another wife. She has two sons to protect, therefore she plots vengeance of the harshest kind.
Why You Should Watch It: Forget Tyler Perry’s “Madea”. This is Lars von Trier’s first masterpiece of many. This was shot on video… in 1988. And the look is breathtaking. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. A painting on eighties video stock. Is that possible? Yes, it is.
Von Trier’s camera moves like a ghost, traveling from the ground to 50 feet in the air as if it was secured to a Ferris wheel. I swear, one second we’re on an extreme close up, next second, we’re in the clouds.
I err on the side of EMPHASIZING that this TV movie is not just great because of the camera work, the acting is agonizing and gut-wrenching. The use of the beach, waves, and wind injects you in Medea’s torn psyche. You want her to unleash hell on those that did her wrong.
This is a revenge movie at its finest. I’m not even a fan of von Trier pre-Breaking the Waves. Although I admire his early work technically, such as “Elements of Crimes”, I don’t connect to those films emotionally — except for “Medea.”
Von Trier himself chose to completely throw away his pyrotechnical style because he thought his work was too cold, much like R.W.Fassbinder. He made a commitment to make you feel something in works like “Dogville,” “Melancholia” and even “Nymphomaniac.”
Although he may not have realized it, he managed to merge both styles only once with “Medea.” I Can’t Believe It’s on YouTube!
Written by: Norith Soth