Friday, December 31, 2004

Emotional Survival

I am greatly disturbed tonight.  One of my two closest friends was vacationing with his wife in Malaysia and just missed sunning himself with her on the beach where the tsunami waves hit. 

So I lift a glass of wine to the Fates who birthed the three of us into the childhood purgatory we called Hartville, and has once again permitted "our dynamic threesome" to survive.  

What haunts me most tonight is the film Dogville.  If you haven't seen this film on DVD yet, please do.  It's Von Trier's blistering critique of America, and it made no sense to me as I watched it.  Only at the end did I finally get it.

In his parable about American power, Von Triers argues that America has been a the masochist prince until now, refusing to accept its true, gangster role in the world, that only now is it accepting its place in history's succession of empires.  And now, after being abused, humiliated, and raped by rest of the world ... America has finally bared its teeth, revealed its true nature, and turned on world. 

Shades of 911.  I was flooded with the same emotion I felt when a friend suggested we turn the Middle East into a parking lot.  How close we all are to the beast within.  Worst of all, Nicole's character made perfect sense.

Von Trier's setting adds to the stark parable, minimalizing everything but the action, using a bare stage and platforms to tell his story.  It all adds to the universal nature of his story.  This could be any small town.  Or America itself.  This is a Message Story, a Visual Essay, a Parable.  Those who have ears to hear, eyes to see, let them hear and see.  

Odd thing.  I saw Closer earlier this evening.  It deals with the intricacies of human relationships - as the Von Trier film deals with the intricacies of politics.  Closer is a much more finely crafted script.  But the delayed wallop packed by Dogville is more powerful.

1 comment:

theresarrt7 said...

I love Von Triers.  Have you seen his Medea?  WOW