Lars von Trier BFI Retrospective - Dancer in the Dark (2000)

Simon Columb attends BFI Southbank's Lars von Trier retrospective...

Asked what type of filmmakers inspire and influence Lars von Trier, the last thing one would consider is Busby Berkeley and The Sound of Music. As unlikely as it sounds, these established Hollywood musicals are what contribute to Dancer in the Dark, a musical tragedy starring Björk in the lead role. Contrasting filmmaking methods of hand-held naturalism and 100-camera musical numbers, von Trier manages to fuse together a story of sadness and truth within a contextual setting that is the great Us of A -a world whereby the American Dream is real for many, but unattainable for others.

Located in Washington during the 1960s, we follow Selma (Björk), a Czech immigrant working within a factory and saving for an operation for her son, Gene (Vladica Kostic). He - and she - carry a hereditary illness that leads to blindness and Selma
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