Posts

Website_ EPISODE 17_ END-OF-THE-WORLD BLUES IN LARS VON TRIER'S _MELANCHOLIA_

#017: End-of-the-World Blues in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” (feat. Niels Nothdurft) | A Leap of Doubt

This week’s episode is a review/analysis of Melancholia, a 2011 film written and directed by the controversial Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier. My guest for this discussion is my Danish friend and fellow Von Trier enthusiast Niels Böge Nothdurft.

We discuss Melancholia as an apocalyptic end-of-the-world movie in both a physical and a psychological sense. The movie follows the lives of two sisters, Justine and Claire, living in the final days and hours of planet Earth as it faces imminent collision with a giant rogue planet, dubbed “Melancholia,” that has emerged from behind the sun. Melancholia is also the name given in the psychological literature of a form of severe and debilitating depression, a condition suffered by the character of Justine (played by Kirsten Dunst), who unlike her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) experiences a sense of newfound liberation and peace from her depression as the end of the world approaches. Claire, on the other hand, is suddenly and for the first time in her luxurious and controlled life confronted by the extreme discomfort of existential angst. We discuss the movie’s use of symbolism, both medieval and modern, and as an allegory for depression, ennui, and existential angst. We also ask the question the movie invites all viewers to ask: How would we react to the knowledge that all life on earth, along with the planet itself, was going to end abruptly? Do we see ourselves in the reactions of the characters, and if so, why?

 

Links:

Niels Nothdurft’s blog on the Trolling with Logic website: http://www.trollingwithlogic.com/euro-skeptic/

Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” official website: http://www.melancholiathemovie.com/

“Melancholia” on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1527186/

Tim Matts and Aidan Tynan, “The Melancholy of Extinction: Lars von Trier’s ‘Melancholia’ as an Environmental Film,” M/C Journal 15, no. 2 (2012), http://www.journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/491.

Sigmund Freud, “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917): http://www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/medical/clerkships/psych/misc/articles/freud.pdf

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.  The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Website_-EPISODE-10_-THE-ART-AND-SOCIAL-POLITICS

#010: The Art and Social Politics of Marvel’s “Black Panther” (feat. Tony Reaves, Jr.) | A Leap of Doubt

In February 2018, the record-breaking film Black Panther joined the ever-growing pantheon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and made an indelible impact on popular culture almost overnight, grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide. The movie, based on the Marvel comics created in 1966, chronicles the rise of T’Challa, the titular “Black Panther,” as the new king of the fictional and technologically-advanced hidden African kingdom of Wakanda. A stunningly rendered and beautifully-written story, Black Panther is an important and groundbreaking film with lots of potential for cultural and social consciousness-raising.

In this episode, I talk about the impact and potential of this movie with my friend and special guest, Tony Reaves, Jr. We discuss the art, politics, and social issues raised in the movie, and the moral dilemmas and questions faced by the characters within the story and how they might apply in the real world, and what makes its huge success an historic moment in film history for black identity in America and elsewhere. We also touch on the uphill battle experienced by black filmmakers in Hollywood.

Links:

Black Panther on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825683/

Kara Brown, “Matt Damon Interrupts Successful Black Woman Filmmaker to Explain Diversity to Her,” Jezebel, September 14, 2015, https://jezebel.com/matt-damon-interrupts-successful-black-woman-filmmaker-1730553152.

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at https://www.facebook.com/groups/alopdiscussion/

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, and Chris Watson for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.