IT WAS dinner and a movie last night with the Rufous Bird, whose turn it was to pick the flick. Trouble there and right away. The Professor would have favoured something light and amusing, but there would be none of that, as the Bird had been chirping away with her arty pals about the movie everyone just has to see. It turned out be something called Melancholia, which begins at a nut job’s wedding and ends almost three hours later with three people sitting under a pyramid of sticks and waiting for the world to end, which it does and not before time.
The one consolation is that the director, Lars Von Trier, can frame an arresting image, although the relevance of horses sagging on the lawn or the bride’s gown-up antics in a golf course bunker with a wedding guest other than her new husband must remain a matter for conjecture. The golf course, which appeared to be in great nick, figures only incidentally in what passes for a plot, and that was another of the film’s great deficiencies. Shot from the air, one of the holes appeared to present the challenge of a long drive with a second-stroke dogleg to the left, followed by a higher-loft club’s mortar bomb to a tight green ringed by woods. As the rest of the film made no sense at all, the missed opportunity to place Charlotte Rampling on the tee and examine her swing was par for the course, so to speak.
The highlight came a little after the film’s mid-point, when the couple in front walked out. The word “wanker” was overheard as they made their exit, which was re-assuring. Less so was the Bird’s friend, who has just interrupted breakfast with a call to find out how much she really, really enjoyed it.
Would it surprise anyone to learn that the friend works for the ABC?
Oh, and one more thing, Von Trier really is an idiot, which probably explains why Fairfax reviewer Clem Bastow gave the flick five stars. Fools, they stick together.