Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This week my picks are Dancer in the Dark (2000 - ) and The Sound of Music (1965 - ).
The first film this week was a landmark in cinema that very
few people got to see in theatres. The Academy has all but
ignored it, but now it is on video for all to see. Björk
stars as a metalworker who is going blind, but must hide
her condition until she can save enough money for an operation
to keep her son (Vladan Kostic) from suffering the same fate.
Björk's character in Dancer in the Dark, Selma, is
very childlike and somewhat deluded. This leads her to
go into fantasies inspired by Hollywood musicals. One highlight
of the film is the score, which features several songs that are
sung with great passion to express the character of Selma.
The other main highlight is the directorial style of Lars von
Trier, who shot the film with a hand-held digital camcorder.
The stark images and lingering moments were too much for some
people in the theatre, making the experience almost painful
for them. Others, including myself, were swept up by the power
of the film, which will probably be much more accessible on
Throughout most of Dancer in the Dark, Selma is rehearsing for a community theatre production of The Sound of Music. That production was quite bizarre, but the film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is a true classic, and the second pick this week. Julie Andrews plays an Austrian nun named Maria who is hired to take care of the von Trapp children while their father (Christopher Plummer) is busy with the diplomatic nightmare of World War II. Based on a true story, The Sound of Music was a simplistic, yet popular stage musical. Robert Wise's film adaptation, however, brings out the true potential of the story. From the moment that Andrews comes twirling onto a grassy hilltop singing the title tune, the film launches into pure cinematic bliss. It's long been a favorite on television, and the home video version has been a perennial bestseller. Now, a feature-packed two-disc DVD set is available -- a must-have for any family's collection.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan