When this movie was first released, I had no idea what I was in for:
Dancer in the Dark, starring BJORK and CATHERINE DENUEVE seemed to promise to be a WONDERFUL experience! A MUSICAL???!!! Starring BJORK!!??
I saw it.
There has never been another movie that I know of that matches the horror and devastation created by the unfolding of this movie.
Let me just try to capture the experience here: Along with our wishes and dreams, everyone shares the same layer of thin ice upon which we walk, hoping desperately to fulfill at least a few of those dreams before falling through, if any are fulfilled at all. This movie lets you fall through; it knocks you down through the ice, mercilessly. It doesn't just let you fall through; it removes the color from all of the effort you've ever made in your life before that moment. It flattens every wish, dream and moves us into a place of dangerous pointlessness inside that we know is there, but cannot ever EVER touch. And this movie not only makes you touch that space, it smothers you in it, drowning you below the icy surface through which you just fell, and as you sink, you can still see people above, walking, ever so gently, but desperately blind, and you know they will join you soon enough.
It's kinda like that.
So... I saw that movie. And, actually, I LOVED it.
A genius, dark, dangerous exploration that is absolutely cruel in its contrast between the inner, beautiful dance numbers and musicals through which Selma/Bjork interprets her mundane life, and the terrifying momentum that is locked into motion upon this symbol of purity and innocence... To me, for a movie to take you that far into such taboo territory and unapologetically leave you there, is an art that may not be pleasant, but it is art, nonetheless. And to somehow survive this movie means something... SOMETHING.
Besides various personal experiences in my own life, watching this movie was one of the most painful things I have ever endured and recovered from.
I saw this movie... ONCE. In the theater. Years ago. And I remember everyone around me was broken, devastated, and some could barely walk. I couldn't speak clearly for hours. I couldn't stop thinking about it for months, years. I never thought I could watch it again in my life, even though I really really wanted to try so I could rise above the experience and see the movie differently, objectively.
So... I just tried to watch it again. Tonight. Alone.
A HUGE, lovely mistake. I can barely see to type. My face is swollen with that horrible grimace from crying so hard. Amazing. The effect from this movie is just... amazing. I'm in awe.
I highly recommend this movie to everyone. LOL! But please, not if you are unstable or alone, for god's sake.
Have you seen it? How many times?
Oh my god... the scene where she sings "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" in the silence... utterly devastating. DEVASTATING!
And for those brave few who are in the know from watching DANCER IN THE DARK, I leave you with this:
They don't know us, you see
It's only the last song
If we let it be"
- the missing end of Selma's song, just before... well, you know.
Great. I'm bawling again.
I can't wait until I am brave enough to watch this AGAIN! LOL!