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LARS VON TRIER RETROSPECTIVE
DANCER IN THE DARK
LARS VON TRIER | DENMARK | 2000 | 140 MIN | R
In Lars von Trier’s unconventional musical, Icelandic songstress Björk stars as Czech immigrant Selma, a single mother living in Washington State in 1964. Selma loves the musicals of Hollywood’s golden age, yet her reality couldn’t be further from those silver screen dreamscapes. She’s rapidly losing her eyesight, a fact that she tries desperately to hide from her young son and the bosses at her grim factory job. In moments of private reverie, Selma imagines that her life is a musical, and in these song-and-dance sequences von Trier brazenly disregards the Dogme 95 principles he’d once espoused (among them: no non-diegetic music). A sense of doom is ever-present, with the circumstances of Selma’s life degenerating faster than her sight. Yet it’s a testament to the filmmaker’s crafty skill and, most of all, to Björk’s go-for-broke performance that the audience can’t help but root for Selma even as the odds against her soar. It’s not an easy film to watch (nor, by all accounts, a pleasant film to make), but DANCER IN THE DARK is a must-see for Von Trier’s ability to craft a musical/melodrama hybrid that simultaneously embraces and subverts the genres in which he’s working.
Cast: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare
“Does what art is meant to do: It provokes us, spurs debate, reconsiders a medium, and makes us rethink our world.” –San Francisco Chronicle
The Philadelphia Film Center Black Box is now screening newly released feature films thanks to state-of-the-art upgrades.
Enjoy intimate and casual cabaret style seating with light refreshments and snacks while watching the latest blockbuster film or indie darling. Seating is not reserved, though our ushers will help you find a table that best accommodates your group.