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Dancer in the Dark (New Line Platinum Series)
Dancer in the Dark
New Line Platinum Series
Actors: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare, Joel Grey
Director: Lars von Trier
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
R     2001     2hr 20min

Recording star bjork is miraculous as selma a factory worker in ruarl america and single mother who is losing her eyesight from a hereditary disease. Determined to protect her 10-year-old son from the same fate selma is sa...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Peter Stormare, Joel Grey
Director: Lars von Trier
Creators: Lars von Trier, Anja Grafers, Els Vandevorst, Finn Gjerdrum, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, Lars Jönsson, Leo Pescarolo
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Musicals
Studio: New Line Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/20/2001
Original Release Date: 01/01/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2000
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 20min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 19
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Samuel K. (Solvanda)
Reviewed on 8/23/2009...
This is one of those movies that polarizes the viewers. You will either understand the purpose of a movie like this and embrace it...or you will not. If you are one who loves Hollywood fare and a good diversion from reality, give a wide berth. However, if you find Hollywood fare a slap in the face and the majority of movies far removed from the real complexities of everyday life, then you will find this cinematic expression a welcome, empathetic, and most especially *cathartic* experience.
For me, this is one of the few movies I could watch over and over again. It's one of those movies that stay with you for several weeks. I'm a rather phlegmatic person. My first viewing on VHS several years ago though left me crying uncontrollably for an hour. I simply could not stop. Thank goodness I watched it alone...heh!
If it is your first viewing of this DVD, turn up the volume and turn out the lights and distractions. It is convoluted piece of work. It is a martyr story. It is a foray into the dark exploring the relationship between living and sight. Bjork's central character, from point A, is on a beeline to her objective...and that is an act of selfless love.
This is also a musical like you have never seen before. Bjork's melodic pieces (goofy as they sometimes are) add an additional level of perception to what's happening on camera. Obtain the lyrics, which are readily available online, so you can understand clearly what is being sung. (Bjork is from Iceland.)
I would recommend this movie to all those souls out there who have ever felt trapped by their circumstances, those who have suffered various types of abuse, and trauma. This movie is HUMAN. If you have an NF temperament (Meyers-Briggs/Keirsey-Bates personality sorter) watch this was made for YOU.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Marianna S. (Angeloudi) from HOLIDAY, FL
Reviewed on 10/21/2008...
This is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life! I can't believe I watched it all the way to its grim conclusion (fast forwarding all the musical numbers such as the sink factory dance routine, the reenactment of the lying lover's murder dance scene and the march to the gallows musical fantasy extravaganza). I am not kidding----those all are part of this inexplicable movie. Bjork plays a Czech immigrant who is slowly going blind from a hereditary eye disease, which her 10 year old son shows symptoms of already. We don't know who her character really is, who the father of her child was, or what makes her tick, other than the fact that she loves musicals. I bought this movie because I love Catherine Deneuve, who plays Bjork's friend and co-worker at the sink factory. However, her English isn't great, and neither is Bjork's. All in all, this movie was a disaster, absolutely ridiculous and with very grim subject matter.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Disturbing as hell, but incredible film
C. Copeland | Springfield, MO USA | 05/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Genre: Drama, Musical

Genre Grade: A+

Final Grade: A+

This is possibly the most depressing movie I've ever seen. It rips you apart over and over again, without any hint of a happy ending. It's about as far from cliche Hollywood as can be, something Lars von Trier is known for. Bjork is an incredible, wonderful actress and I'd love to see her in a happier role, but she has sworn she will never be in another movie because of the emotional difficulties caused from her role in this film.

I am warning you, this movie will madden you, sadden you, and depress the hell out of you. I recommend it to audiences who appreciate art films. It is a musical (great way of challenging the sadness of the film), but mostly it is just a drama about losing everything you could possibly lose for the sake of love and compassion."
Don't watch with any expectations
Peter Imes | Columbus, MS United States | 04/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, I can't even believe this film was made and distributed to so many theaters. Don't get me wrong-- I think it may be one of the best movies I have ever seen, but it is SO much different than anything else I can hardly believe someone picked it up to produce and distribute.The movie doesn't know if it is a documentary, drama or musical, but somehow it pulls off being all three. The story is that of a Czech immigrant who works and exists only to pay for a surgery to correct in her son a genetic disease that will eventually render him blind. The acting in the entire film is flawless and it is cast perfectly. The camera angles and visuals were stunning and the soundtrack (by Bjork) is enchanting.I must disagree with other reviewers on a couple of points. The first being that this is a "predictable story" of a character "too weak-willed to defend herself from the forces of 'darkness' enveloping her miserable life". The will of Selma is incredible. Out of guilt from bringing her son into the world, knowing he will inherit the same blinding disease she has, and pure love Selma dedicates her life to saving money to pay for the surgery. She sacrifices everything save occasional viewings of musicals which provide her the sanity she needs to continue. Even when put to the ultimate test- death- she continues. The second point is that there are no happy scenes. Completely false. The sheer beauty of Selma's mission and the musicals she produces in her head define love and happiness respectively. The end of the movie (I won't spoil it for you) is sad but at the same time happy in that Bjork has found her piece after being wronged in so many ways.The first 20 minutes are painfuly slow, but everything comes together. Wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but if you are a fan of "art" films or Indies, definately watch it."
A Triumph
Attilla The Honey | Laramie, WY United States | 09/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Dancer In The Dark" is the stunning film by Lars von Trier that won this year's Cannes Film Festival and stars Icelandic alterna-pop queen Bjork in her film debut. Set in 1964, Bjork plays a woman from Czechoslovakia named Selma who imagines that she is inside of a Hollywood Musical. This musical is not a happy perfect-world musical as so many others are, but packs a stinging bite and a Sondheim-esque dark side. Early on, the conflicts start piling up: Selma's son will go blind if she can't afford to pay for an operation, and her next door neighbor stals all the money she's been trying to save. Then, she is yanked from an small production of "The Sound Of Music" when she is faced with murder charges, and she winds up in prison.As Selma's life gets worse and worse, she retreats farther and farther into her musical-comedy daydreams. She imagines that a celebrity is her father and she's not poor; she imagines herself dancing with the man she's accused of killing. Although Bjork's acting is superb, she has said that she does not want to act again. She said she wants to be a "person of the ears", not a "person of the images".The soundtrack to this film is also done by Bjork. Although the soundtrack its self is rather short (clocking in at a scant 33 minutes), it's lack of duration is made up for in abundance by it's beauty, passion, and intensity. The songs are a strange mix of lush orchestral work and heavy industrial beats. Although it sounds like a strange combination, it is a perfect blend for this film.As a lover of musical theatre, especially motion picture musicals, it is so refreshing to see a new musical being premiered on the screen that isn't trying to live up to it's own tired broadway run. I mean really, other than "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" or "Evita", when was the last really great film musical made? "Annie" back in 1982? "Dancer In The Dark" brings a breath of life to this dying genre. I hope it will not be long bfore we as audiences are able to see many more new musicals hitting the silver screen."