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Hypnotic ecology: Environmental melancholia in Lars von Trier’s films
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, Cinema Studies.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, ISSN 2042-7891, E-ISSN 2042-7905, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 135-148Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines Lars von Trier’s The Element of Crime (1984), Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011) from the perspective of ecological theories that seek to go beyond the green ecological paradigm. The three films depict the environment as fraught with a sense of unease, bound up with a melancholia that may be caused by either too little or too much intimacy with the non-human. The article shows that Trier’s despair and irony, anchored in a modernist distrust of reason, may be attuned to the conditions of the Anthropocene. Examining Trier’s allusions to pre-modern forms of knowledge reveals that his depictions of hypnosis and depression evoke privileged forms of knowledge that extend the environmental disaster to cosmic proportions. Turning to notions of dark ecology, the article argues that Trier’s black sensibility holds the seeds of a positive ecological awareness of interconnectedness and interdependence of humans with the surrounding world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, no 2, p. 135-148
Keywords [en]
Antichrist, Lars von Trier, Melancholia, The Element of Crime, dark ecology, ecocriticism, hypnosis
National Category
Studies on Film
Research subject
Cinema Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157531DOI: 10.1386/jsca.8.2.135_1ISI: 000441972100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157531DiVA, id: diva2:1222224
Available from: 2018-06-21 Created: 2018-06-21 Last updated: 2018-09-17Bibliographically approved

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