Film Micrœview #112: Manderlay (2005)

07.30.2014 § Leave a comment

Manderlay

Rating: Shrug.

I enjoy Von Trier’s movies more when he focuses on emotion rather than rhetoric. It’s clear to see that in Von Trier’s unlikely tale of gangsters crossing with cotton plantations is allegorically prying into the dark recesses of the American national psyche, and in the process wax philosophical on freedom, and race. This is one exercise in style which thankfully isolates the performances — the best parts. I should say that the dialog is not bad either, nor is the story construction. However, overall I am left feeling bored, bothered, and insulted. Irony (European narration [meta-ironically channeling American Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon!] and credit score; hypocrisy) and performance (artifice; psychological typing) tie things together nicely — but was this worth my time? For all the brutal situations it constructed, Manderlay never made me feel the harrowing emotion that others of Von Trier’s movies can. I’d rather’ve rewatched Dogville.

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