MELANCHOLIA – This is a fantasy about how the world ends for specific people, and how they approach the inevitable. Suicide, mental breakdown, or maybe stoicism? It’s not about the science, it’s not about physics, and that’s mostly fine. It’s a film about psychology, about interpersonal relationships, and it’s about the unavoidable. It’s about life and it’s about death, and about how we as humans rationalize our existence. Do we approach the end with a whimper or a bang?
While I admit that this is NOT a film about the science, there was one, likely throw-away, line that bugs me. I was a bit annoyed when Kiefer Sutherland’s character advises someone in mid asthma attack not to worry. “It’s just [the other planet] Melancholia, skimming off some of our atmosphere as it passes by!”
I’m guessing that Lars didn’t have any astronomy consultants on staff. If the earth were the size of a hard boiled egg, its atmosphere would maybe be as thick as the egg’s shell – in order to “skim” some of the atmosphere, it would be doing more than passing by. Add to this, if it was taking enough atmosphere to affect a human at sea level, there are some extremely serious problems. Science of Melancholia discusses some of the rogue planet ideas as well.
VAMPIRES – A family of Belgian French vampires is featured in this pseudo-documentary as they live and interact with neighbouring vampires and Belgium’s social welfare system. Some interesting approaches to the vampire genre here with the explicit Vampire Code defining so many aspects of their lives. One of my favorite parts, other than the couple aborted attempts at starting a documentary in the homes of vampires, was the tour of the kitchen, and the introduction of Le Viande.
The central family ends up violating the wrong codes, and they’re sent packing; to Montreal where the vampires are much different. “Did you know that in Canada, vampires have to WORK?”