Stand By Me

Stand By Me. Nothing beats exploring the woods with your friends. Especially when your parents are clueless as to your whereabouts. This one is not as good as I remembered. I couldn’t help but compare it with that other Oregon-based tween adventure from a year earlier, The Goonies, and it comes up short. Maybe it just works better for younger eyes and ears, where the foul language is more scandalous and thrilling, and the loving fisticuffs more relatable. I didn’t realize this is where the production company’s name came from.


Melancholia. I really wish I’d seen this on the big screen. Depression, death and the end of life on Earth! Some parallel construction here with Antichrist: the super-slow-motion theatrical overture and introduction of themes, and then a brief journey to an isolated setting where the rest of the film takes place. It’s like Trier is controlling the variables of society, technology, etc. so he can run this storytelling experiment on three subjects. Speaking of, great cast. Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland are all excellent. Side characters are good for color and occasional comic relief (see: plate-breaking scene). The recurring use of the Tristan & Isolde prelude is a smart choice. And it’s gorgeous. I do wonder how this movie would feel different if the setting were not so ridiculously wealthy and comfortable.

I’ll call this my favorite Lars von Trier film, though it’s only the third. Dancer in the Dark would be probably be second, followed by Antichrist. I’ve heard good things about Dogville. The Boss of It All and The Five Obstructions look interesting.