Choice: Film: Breaking the Waves
Tuesday 12 May 1998
The ICA's month-long Lars Von Trier season, which started last week, comes up trumps immediately with the 1996 trauma-inducing Breaking the Waves. Like some malevolent deity, the Danish director grants one moment of happiness in the life of his simple heroine, Bess - namely her marriage to rig-worker Jan - before submerging it in a torrent of misfortune. Bess blames herself for the accident that leaves her husband paralysed and undertakes to fulfil his fevered sexual fantasies in the hope that he will be cured. Her behaviour brings the full, unforgiving might of the local Calvinist community down upon her - the very community that fed her overactive imagination in the first place. The camerawork is as raw as the acting (Emily Watson is on tear-jerking form) - in short, a must. It's running in tandem with the 1986 sci-fi thriller, Epidemic, which pre-figured Von Trier's hilarious cult TV ghost series, The Kingdom - the movie sequel to which, The Kingdom II, the ICA is exclusively screening from Friday.
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