Nowhere near Pasolini's extraordinary, hallucinatory, sympathetic take on the same legend. Nonetheless, Trier's typically arduous appropriation of Medea as another condemnation of hypocrisy & the subjugation of women plays like the superior version of the filmmaker's own Breaking the Waves. Once again, wilful suffering leads to spiritual transcendence, but without the overt manipulation/provocation of his later film.
The film seems more a test than anything else. Like much early Trier he is experimenting with visual power. Everything else seems to escape his control. He is so overwhelmed by the power he can give to the singular image that he does not keep in conscious the entire film, its power in duration. The end result does not do Euripides or Dreyer justice, it indulges on moments instead of movement. Beautiful nonetheless.
A film of extraordinary power and pathos, Medea is both a worthy homage to Danish cinema's most legendary master, Dreyer, and a key document -- possibly a skeleton key -- for the understanding of much of von Trier's subsequent work, with special attention to Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, and Antichrist. But Medea's brooding atmosphere -- all bristle, shudder and thrum -- is its own minor, murderous miracle.
While not as good as some of Von Trier's later masterpieces, it's still an incredible film. The imagery is some of Von Trier's very best and Udo Kier is wonderful as always. One of the most interesting things about the film however is how you can see the roots of a lot of Von Trier's consistent themes and his style. The highly feministic attitude foreshadows Antichrist. Loved this movie to say the least.
One of the more satisfying movies from our hero Lars. It's paced extremely well. It combines the wonderful storytelling of Carl Dreyer and the post modern visual techniques of Von Trier to create an unique cinematic experience that leaves the viewer haunted and moved. This could be my favorite Von Trier movie!
Analog Occultism, nice&grainy, 76 minutes // Trier shapes musty myth into potent poem - scant on script, heavy on style // We follow vengeful Medea through hazy bogs and foreboding fields towards egocentric tragedy. The actions of the tormented necromancer (though self-serving) seem eerily unavoidable, fated. Two visual gems: chiaroscuro like nuptial scene & grey mare bolting through shadowy catacombs