MELANCHOLIA (2011) is a film by Lars von Trier about a rogue planet's collision with the earth.
09/18/12 | Film


by James O'Brien

Every slip slender slope of grass, stain glassed with red and white and pink, lifted to the darkening landscape, toasting the encroaching and living planet. We are the children of some phenomenon, tilting away from the sun; soon to cinders, and then on to the harder stuff.

But what is the guarantee, this smeared luxury, this Tom Thumb shift; is that what it is, in your head? I softened you with what was in your cup. We fell into a tangle of bicycles. What were the pedals like, up into your back?

There are no guarantees, that is one answer to it. When we were very little they told us no fires, white and bright on cloudy days; none if there were clouds in the atmosphere. Enemies waited for clear blue skies, wanting to expose everyone most acutely to the flash. Later, we learned that this was accurate. And we thought about all of the silver pods perched atop some silver spires, each pointed toward an afternoon. Quick and final flash.

Now, out here on the grass. They’re down there, still, waiting in a thousand lost holes. Ten thousand holes forgotten. Listen to the golf cart, plunging into softer ground. The electric whir and the bounce that chimes the keys. One more wilding runaway. The sun wants to set at last. The cart, stopped, a never-noticed-it kind of hush. Sitting in the plush, something must dare to move. A jackrabbit. An ant.

Someone will film you with expensive glassware mounted in toughened carbon steel, but they will not feel it like you did: the bicycle sharp and almost inside of you. The wheel of it, whispering, spun.