Director Lars von Trier’s tense, experimental look at a woman who is disrupted by shattered glass and afraid of sunlight recalls the work of avant-garde pioneers Maya Deren and Luis Buńuel. A mysterious phone call and circling flock of birds accentuate the visual poetry and establish the compelling emotional upset and narrative tension of which von Trier would later become master. Made while at the National Film School of Denmark, NOCTURNE won von Trier the Best Film Award at the 1981 Munich Film Festival.
With a back-story (almost) as singular as his films, Danish director Lars von Trier was one of the most exceptional filmmakers to burst onto the international film scene in the 1990s. Unapologetically confident in his artistry and an unabashed provocateur, von Trier could kick up a fuss about his behavior, but his stylistic brio, extreme narratives, and ability with actors prevented such films as Zentropa (1991), The Kingdom (1994), Breaking the Waves (1996), and Dancer in the Dark (2000) from being eclipsed by their creator. Even as he openly sought a larger audience by making films in English, von Trier’s success helped resurrect Scandinavian cinema’s international prominence; his intense fear of flying ensured he’d never “go Hollywood.”
Raised by his radical, nudist Communist parents in an unconventional environment where, as von Trier once put it, everything was permitted except “feelings, religion and enjoyment,” von Trier blossomed into a neurotic, left-wing, movie-loving… read more