How to describe a film so avant-garde that Dirk Bogarde threatened to quit the Cannes jury if it got an award? A film that references Blade runner, with a burned-out cop (Michael Elphick) brought back into a futuristic Europe to find a serial killer. A film that has been described by some as "The Silence of the Lambs" meets "Delicatessen".
Fans of David Lynch may thrill at this futuristic film noir. Many will run for the exits, as it takes quite a bit of time to develop.
It is Lars von Trier's first English-language film, and it is in a sepia-tone that adds to the feeling that Europe is crumbling. Water is an element that flows throughout, again adding to the feeling that something is rotten.
Elphick hooks up with Me Me Lai in her last film. She had done a lot of cannibal work before this - an interesting combination of actors.
Elphick goes into a experimental drug-induced hypnotic state to try and recreate the crimes and catch the killer. Things get really surreal from here.
Cinematography, sound, and special effects were all superb in this very strange film.
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Fisher, an ex-cop, returns to his old beat somewhere in northern Europe after a thirteen-year hiatus in Cairo. His former mentor and role model, author of a treatise called "The Element of Crime", asks him to solve a series of murders involving lottery ticket sellers. Guided by the theories put forth in the book, Fischer retraces the steps of a suspect, Harry Grey, as recorded in a three-year-old police surveillance report.—Eddi Sommer
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