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Europa (The Criterion Collection)
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SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Audio commentary featuring director Lars von Trier and producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen (in Danish)
The Making of Europa (1991), a documentary following the film from storyboarding to production
Trier s Element (1991), a documentary featuring an interview with von Trier, and footage from the set and Europa s Cannes premiere and press conference
Anecdotes from Europa (2005), a short documentary featuring interviews with film historian Peter Schepelern, actor Jean-Marc Barr, producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, assistant director Tómas Gislason, co-writer Niels Vørsel, and prop master Peter Grant
2005 interviews with cinematographer Henning Bendtsen, composer Joachim Holbek, costume designer Manon Rasmussen, film-school teacher Mogens Rukov, editor/director Tómas Gislason, producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, art director Peter Grant, actor Michael Simpson, production manager Per Arman, actor Ole Ernst
A conversation with Lars von Trier from 2005, in which the director speaks about the Europa trilogy
Europa The Faecal Location (2005), a short film by Gislason
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Howard Hampton
"A movie cultist's dream...it plays like an ideal collaboration between Wim Wenders and David Lynch." --The Washingon Post
Top Customer Reviews
The cinematography, utterly commensurate with the claustrophobic theme, brilliant in its conception, an encyclopedia of noire technique; most of the acting; and the conclusion, rivetingly harrowing as any in cinema--all come together in a magnificent work of art that belongs on the shelf of anyone who understands the power of cinema to speak to the heart and mind co-equally.
For some reason despite my obsession with European cinema I've never felt compelled to watch the works of the Danish l'enfant terrible Lars von Trier (he gave the finger to the judges at Cannes when Europa failed to win the Palm d'Or). However, desperate to find something worthwhile to watch I discovered Europa. And, with Max von Sydow's stunning introductory narration telling me to be seduced, I was seduced, but by what exactly? I'm still not exactly sure but I shall try desperately/earnestly to explain myself.
It is necessary to detach yourself from the Lars von Trier of Breaking the Waves, Dogville, and Manderlay. This film was made in his pre-Dogma film style.
... here's a limited non-spoiler plot summary: An American pacifist named Leopold Kessler travels to post-WWII Germany to find a job. He joins his alcoholic uncle as a sleeping-car conductor for the mysterious Zentropa railways which crisscross Germany. Eventually he falls for the daughter, Katharina Hartmann, of the owner of Zentropa and becomes involved with a shadowy conspiracy against Germany's occupiers.
And the viewer enters a the visually stunning nightmarish world of post-War Germany rendered brilliantly by Lars von Trier's camera: characters interacting with back screen projections, heavy contrast black and white (think Welles' The Third Man), highly selective use of color (think Tarkovsky's Solyaris), and hallucinatory nighttime journeys through train stations, train cars, tunnels...
Lars von Trier deliberately deconstructs (reverently) American film-noir thrillers.Read more ›
The thing which is so special about "Zentropa" are: 1) It is made without ANY digital effects. 2) It is shoot in B/W. 3) All importent elements in the movie have colour (a thing Spielberg stole from Trier, when he made "Schientlers List"). 4) It has a great story. 5) It is a Trier film.
The cinematography is great, so is the acting; especially Max von S. is great. Also notice that Lars von Trier himself has a small role.
If you want to know more about this film, you should read the book "Lars von Triers elements". If you are just looking for some saturdaynight entertaintment...this is not what you want. However if you want so see a quality movie in world class, this is a modern classic... Don't miss it.
Comparisons have been made with David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977), Hitchcock's Notorious (1946), and the director Wim Wender's cinematic creations. Despite the previous comparisons, Lars von Trier creates a unique cinematic experience that could be compared to an artistic and political journey into the aftermath of World War II. Cities lay in ruin and people suffer from starvation as the artery, the railroads of Zentropa, of the recovering Europa continues its exploitation of the people as it carted off millions to a certain death in the Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau during the war. This creates a tense Machiavellian atmosphere where fear, paranoia, and anxiety have a firm grip of the people. This causes most people to alienate themselves from society.
The cinematic journey begins with German-American Leopold Kessler (Jean-Marc Barr) who departs United States after the end of World War II for Germany. When Leopold arrives to the shattered Germany he is greeted by Uncle Kessler (Ernst-Hugo Järegård) who gets him a job as a train conductor on one of the luxurious sleeping-cars of Zentropa.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ultimate part of his European Trilogy, "Europa" is quite a work of art to look at. Indeed, with German expressionism, Nazi Aesthetic, Film Noir, and Hitchcockian references... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Omnes
"You will now listen to my voice," intones Max von Sydow as the opening shot of railroad tracks slowly disappearing beneath a moving train leads us down the rabbit hole of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by B. Wells
This film, finally and at last, makes sense, though in 1991 it is a strange way to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
Looks good but that is just about it. Lars von Trier is largely unimpressive and his desire to provoke is being mistaken for genius. He does not live up to all the hype.Published 10 months ago by Daniel Smith
Dark and tense post- WWII Germany greets idealistic american, Jean Marc Barr, come to help re-build the nation only to stumble into the hands of secret terrorist groups... Read morePublished on November 13, 2013 by Micaela Porte