From interview with the director of Melancholia.

The melancholic Justine isn’t just longing. She is longing for pathos and drama, Lars von Trier explains.

»She 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. We prefer music and art to contain a touch of melancholia. So melancholia in itself is a value. Unhappy and unrequited love is more romantic than happy love. For we don’t think that’s completely real, do we?«

But why does the melancholic long for ship wrecks and sudden death?

»Just because it’s true. Longing is true. It may be that there’s no truth at all to long for, but the longing itself is true. Just like pain is true. We feel it inside. It’s part of reality.«

~ oOo ~

Life is evil, right? And life is a wicked idea. God may have had fun at creation, but he didn’t really think things through,

~ oOo ~

when you enjoy a spring day, that too is a kind of melancholy

~ oOo ~

When you see pictures from outer space, you shiver and feel that we’re awfully alone. And when you imagine yourself floating around in space, in a way you are alone.

~ oOo ~

Why does Claire fall apart as the planet approaches?

»She has something to lose. for instance, a child. She is not longing for anything. She appreciates what she is in. Whereas Justine has nothing to lose. She’s a melancholiac, and we are ever longing, you know. And when you’re longing, you can’t lose anything. You have nothing.«

~ oOo ~

Before the shooting started, Penélope Cruz cancelled because of other engagements and Kirsten Dunst got the lead instead. And the collaboration, says Lars von Trier, was a pleasant surprise.

»I think she’s one hell of an actress. She is much more nuanced than I thought and she has the advantage of having had a depression of her own. All sensible people have,« he says.

»She helped me a lot. First and foremost she had taken photos of herself in that situation so I could see how she looked. How she was present and smiling, but with a completely blank stare.

~ oOo ~

Are we alone in the universe?, I ask instead.

»We are«, he says. »But no one wants to realize it. They keep wanting to push limits and fly wherever, « he laughs. »Forget it! Look inward.«



2 thoughts on “From interview with the director of Melancholia.

  1. Pingback: If you can’t make somebody’s life better, then at least don’t disturb it. « Of November

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