Epidemic Reviews

  • Aug 02, 2015

    One of Lars von Triers oldest flicks, I believe it's his second full lenght after "The Elements of Crime". This film is the second part of a trilogy called "Europa", but it's not very connected too the mentioned film accept that there is some sort of plague going on. There are some interesting methods of film making here. Near to be shot in black and white - maybe it is actually, but the filter makes it looks different in any case. We follow some film makers as they create the plot of a plague. We also se parts of the result - or the way they want it too look. Full of style and simple elegancy, but it's also a borefest. Even with a very low budget it could entertain a lot more. A "movie-in-a-movie" in a way, but more a fake documentary of low budget film-making. I see some "Riget" connections, but mostly I see some moves that Trier probably make when he's putting his films together. Interesting, but not at interesting as it should be. A very powerful ending scene does not save this avant-garde film that got very few highlights. It will be remembered as a boring mess with some neat finesses. 4 out of 10 toothpaste operations.

    One of Lars von Triers oldest flicks, I believe it's his second full lenght after "The Elements of Crime". This film is the second part of a trilogy called "Europa", but it's not very connected too the mentioned film accept that there is some sort of plague going on. There are some interesting methods of film making here. Near to be shot in black and white - maybe it is actually, but the filter makes it looks different in any case. We follow some film makers as they create the plot of a plague. We also se parts of the result - or the way they want it too look. Full of style and simple elegancy, but it's also a borefest. Even with a very low budget it could entertain a lot more. A "movie-in-a-movie" in a way, but more a fake documentary of low budget film-making. I see some "Riget" connections, but mostly I see some moves that Trier probably make when he's putting his films together. Interesting, but not at interesting as it should be. A very powerful ending scene does not save this avant-garde film that got very few highlights. It will be remembered as a boring mess with some neat finesses. 4 out of 10 toothpaste operations.

  • May 17, 2015

    I loved the way it looked, but I can't say I really understand it. It either is going over my head or under it.

    I loved the way it looked, but I can't say I really understand it. It either is going over my head or under it.

  • Avatar
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
    Jun 30, 2014

    This is the worst film Lars von Trier has produced so far. I get that the film is very experimental but I did not enjoy the film at all. There was barely any script, the acting was flimsy and not in a homage to grind house films kinda way, the plot made no sense, the special effects were terrible. I was extremely disappointed, the only redeeming factor was that it sorta helped Lars and Udo to start their Dogme movement. Stay away from the film if you can, Von Trier fans or not, this film will disappoint you or simply bore you to death with its ridiculousness.

    This is the worst film Lars von Trier has produced so far. I get that the film is very experimental but I did not enjoy the film at all. There was barely any script, the acting was flimsy and not in a homage to grind house films kinda way, the plot made no sense, the special effects were terrible. I was extremely disappointed, the only redeeming factor was that it sorta helped Lars and Udo to start their Dogme movement. Stay away from the film if you can, Von Trier fans or not, this film will disappoint you or simply bore you to death with its ridiculousness.

  • Jun 19, 2014

    didnt care for this jumbled mess not one von trier's best pix

    didnt care for this jumbled mess not one von trier's best pix

  • Cameron J Super Reviewer
    May 06, 2014

    No, I'm not quoting the Slayer song, even though it was almost a mere year younger than this film, so shut up. Yeah, I don't really have a passion for thrashin', although, as irony would have it, I can dig on some disturbing filmmaking, so long as it doesn't get carried always, and not just with the disturbances. I can't help but feel as though Lars von Trier played a part in starting the art filmmaking movement in which disturbing material is milked for all its worth, and yet the final product is still kind of dull, because filmmakers don't seem to know the expiration date on their artistic license. In case anyone is feeling that Lars von Trier stands to get a little more experimental with his filmmaking, well, here it is, and thanks a lot for it, you pretentious jerk. Well, maybe the film still stands to be a little weird, because I don't know just how extremely experimental this film can be for von Trier if it's Danish (Hey, he doesn't just make English-language films, only when he wants to actually make some money), but this is still so experimental that it is, in fact, about scientific experiments. You guys can call that statement lame, but it might be accurate, because this film can't be too subtle when it's about an epidemic and actually named "Epidemic". Yeah, I pick on this film because I know that von Trier ought to know better than this, which isn't to say that the filmmaker's style doesn't at least prove to be sharp, up to a point, at least. Most of the film's style is focused on establishing a documentary feel, so of course it's limited, but when it is, in fact, fleshed out, it's solid, with Henning Bendtsen delivering on cinematography that is consistently handsome in its tasteful mixture of subtly intense lighting and a refreshing black-and-white palette. The visual style is distinguished, yet not so artistically ambitious that you lose a documentary feel that, while detrimental to the subjective value whose limitations play a large role in driving the final product into mediocrity, is reasonably effective in selling a grounded feel, while a dramatic feel goes reinforced, at least at times, by what Lars von Trier does relatively well as a storyteller. Von Trier's direction is a little uneven and all but consistently dry for the sake of naturalism that is ultimately more distancing than immersive, yet there are glimpses of abilities that we all know von Trier is capable of as a dramatic storyteller, whose plays on a haunting atmospheric score by Peter Bach and on certain disturbing visuals prove to be near-piercing in their subtle effectiveness and immersion value. In all fairness, solid highlights in direction have solid highlights in material on which to thrive, for although von Trier's and Niels Vørsel's script is pretty messy, sharp occasions in dialogue and characterization punctuate a consistent genuine intelligence that makes audaciously thorough explorations of intriguing subject matter. Yes, no matter how messy its execution may be, the film's story concept is genuinely intriguing, both as a dramatization of scientific and human interpretations of great medical dangers, and as a study on classic human themes, with intellectual and dramatic elements. The interpretation of worthy subject matter is questionable, but I still stand firm behind a lot of von Trier's ideas, both when it comes to establishing the story and when it comes to telling the story, so much so that the film does, in fact, come close to decency. Alas, such decency is ultimately lost in the midst of overt artistic ambition, which is not met with inspiration enough for you to get as invested as you ought to be in a story that seems to deserve full attention. Thin though it may be, the film's narrative still takes more than a few layers that are both promising and, well, distancing, as they convoluted the focus of a film that is hard to get invested in to begin with, without all of the confusion which could have been settled down a bit if things were more organically fleshed out. As things stand, as draggy as the film is, it's still underdeveloped, saying the minimum about its characters and situations right off the bat, then proceeding to say only so much within gradual exposition that feels kind of lazy, reflecting where this particular art film's focus truly rests. The film seems to be pretty intimate with its undercooked characters, but make no mistake, this is a case of style being placed over substance, and I suppose I'd be a little more willing to get past that if the style wasn't rather questionable in a lot of ways. Lars von Trier chooses to approach this drama in a documentarian style, even when storytelling style seems to take a more traditional and subjective turn, and while such a decision is unique and genuinely effective in a lot of ways, the subjective value of this drama goes challenged by objective structural stylization, and the story concept is problematic enough on its own, and not just because f the convolution. I gripe about how the film gets to be confusing, but I have more of a problem with, of all things, the thinness of the story concept, which is driven by simple aimless chit-chat, often truly dramatic, and often dryly scientific, with little meat and little momentum that wear on the potential of the drama. Perhaps the film would have achieved relative decency if it wasn't so dull, for although von Trier's direction has its share of subtly biting attributes, it's uneven, and when it loses realization, momentum drops quickly under the overwhelming pressure of dry, quiet atmospherics that range from bland to near-tedious in their being so cold. The film meanders on and on and on, and while it eventually drags its feet to highlights, it's predominantly flat, even though it's ambitious to the point of being kind of pretentious, meeting inspired occasions with many a moment of convolution, undercooking, overstylization and dullness which cripple the final product just shy of decency. Once the situation has passed, the film thrives on highlights in technical style, dramatic direction and intelligent scripting almost enough to fulfill intriguing subject matter's potential for decency, ultimately lost in the wake of convoluted bloating, despite underdevelopment, in addition to a distinct placement of questionable style over substance whose thinness goes too stressed by a limp pacing which finally dulls Lars von Trier's "Epidemic" into mediocrity, with highlights, but not enough to transcend a combination of overambition and laziness. 2.25/5 - Mediocre

    No, I'm not quoting the Slayer song, even though it was almost a mere year younger than this film, so shut up. Yeah, I don't really have a passion for thrashin', although, as irony would have it, I can dig on some disturbing filmmaking, so long as it doesn't get carried always, and not just with the disturbances. I can't help but feel as though Lars von Trier played a part in starting the art filmmaking movement in which disturbing material is milked for all its worth, and yet the final product is still kind of dull, because filmmakers don't seem to know the expiration date on their artistic license. In case anyone is feeling that Lars von Trier stands to get a little more experimental with his filmmaking, well, here it is, and thanks a lot for it, you pretentious jerk. Well, maybe the film still stands to be a little weird, because I don't know just how extremely experimental this film can be for von Trier if it's Danish (Hey, he doesn't just make English-language films, only when he wants to actually make some money), but this is still so experimental that it is, in fact, about scientific experiments. You guys can call that statement lame, but it might be accurate, because this film can't be too subtle when it's about an epidemic and actually named "Epidemic". Yeah, I pick on this film because I know that von Trier ought to know better than this, which isn't to say that the filmmaker's style doesn't at least prove to be sharp, up to a point, at least. Most of the film's style is focused on establishing a documentary feel, so of course it's limited, but when it is, in fact, fleshed out, it's solid, with Henning Bendtsen delivering on cinematography that is consistently handsome in its tasteful mixture of subtly intense lighting and a refreshing black-and-white palette. The visual style is distinguished, yet not so artistically ambitious that you lose a documentary feel that, while detrimental to the subjective value whose limitations play a large role in driving the final product into mediocrity, is reasonably effective in selling a grounded feel, while a dramatic feel goes reinforced, at least at times, by what Lars von Trier does relatively well as a storyteller. Von Trier's direction is a little uneven and all but consistently dry for the sake of naturalism that is ultimately more distancing than immersive, yet there are glimpses of abilities that we all know von Trier is capable of as a dramatic storyteller, whose plays on a haunting atmospheric score by Peter Bach and on certain disturbing visuals prove to be near-piercing in their subtle effectiveness and immersion value. In all fairness, solid highlights in direction have solid highlights in material on which to thrive, for although von Trier's and Niels Vørsel's script is pretty messy, sharp occasions in dialogue and characterization punctuate a consistent genuine intelligence that makes audaciously thorough explorations of intriguing subject matter. Yes, no matter how messy its execution may be, the film's story concept is genuinely intriguing, both as a dramatization of scientific and human interpretations of great medical dangers, and as a study on classic human themes, with intellectual and dramatic elements. The interpretation of worthy subject matter is questionable, but I still stand firm behind a lot of von Trier's ideas, both when it comes to establishing the story and when it comes to telling the story, so much so that the film does, in fact, come close to decency. Alas, such decency is ultimately lost in the midst of overt artistic ambition, which is not met with inspiration enough for you to get as invested as you ought to be in a story that seems to deserve full attention. Thin though it may be, the film's narrative still takes more than a few layers that are both promising and, well, distancing, as they convoluted the focus of a film that is hard to get invested in to begin with, without all of the confusion which could have been settled down a bit if things were more organically fleshed out. As things stand, as draggy as the film is, it's still underdeveloped, saying the minimum about its characters and situations right off the bat, then proceeding to say only so much within gradual exposition that feels kind of lazy, reflecting where this particular art film's focus truly rests. The film seems to be pretty intimate with its undercooked characters, but make no mistake, this is a case of style being placed over substance, and I suppose I'd be a little more willing to get past that if the style wasn't rather questionable in a lot of ways. Lars von Trier chooses to approach this drama in a documentarian style, even when storytelling style seems to take a more traditional and subjective turn, and while such a decision is unique and genuinely effective in a lot of ways, the subjective value of this drama goes challenged by objective structural stylization, and the story concept is problematic enough on its own, and not just because f the convolution. I gripe about how the film gets to be confusing, but I have more of a problem with, of all things, the thinness of the story concept, which is driven by simple aimless chit-chat, often truly dramatic, and often dryly scientific, with little meat and little momentum that wear on the potential of the drama. Perhaps the film would have achieved relative decency if it wasn't so dull, for although von Trier's direction has its share of subtly biting attributes, it's uneven, and when it loses realization, momentum drops quickly under the overwhelming pressure of dry, quiet atmospherics that range from bland to near-tedious in their being so cold. The film meanders on and on and on, and while it eventually drags its feet to highlights, it's predominantly flat, even though it's ambitious to the point of being kind of pretentious, meeting inspired occasions with many a moment of convolution, undercooking, overstylization and dullness which cripple the final product just shy of decency. Once the situation has passed, the film thrives on highlights in technical style, dramatic direction and intelligent scripting almost enough to fulfill intriguing subject matter's potential for decency, ultimately lost in the wake of convoluted bloating, despite underdevelopment, in addition to a distinct placement of questionable style over substance whose thinness goes too stressed by a limp pacing which finally dulls Lars von Trier's "Epidemic" into mediocrity, with highlights, but not enough to transcend a combination of overambition and laziness. 2.25/5 - Mediocre

  • Jan 11, 2014

    A must-see for every student of film. Self-indulgent and cheap it may be, but a still a high point in cinematic narrative form. The cinematic equivalent of an attempt at breaking the fourth wall. Kudos to von Trier for his courage and chutzpah.

    A must-see for every student of film. Self-indulgent and cheap it may be, but a still a high point in cinematic narrative form. The cinematic equivalent of an attempt at breaking the fourth wall. Kudos to von Trier for his courage and chutzpah.

  • May 20, 2013

    "Epidemic" es otro ejercicio narcisista del director Lars von Trier (quien disfruta de provocar reacciones extremas y que aqui forma parte del elenco de su historia). Esta involucra al director y un guionista en el proceso de escribir su proxima cinta. Algunas secuencias nos muestran parte de la pelicula dentro de la pelicula (la cual es bastante banal) pero es el elemento meta el cual nos llama la atencion; al parecer la realidad empieza a imitar al arte. "Epidemic" se siente como un chiste privado de von Trier. Es un experimento conceptualmente interesante con una pobre ejecucion.

    "Epidemic" es otro ejercicio narcisista del director Lars von Trier (quien disfruta de provocar reacciones extremas y que aqui forma parte del elenco de su historia). Esta involucra al director y un guionista en el proceso de escribir su proxima cinta. Algunas secuencias nos muestran parte de la pelicula dentro de la pelicula (la cual es bastante banal) pero es el elemento meta el cual nos llama la atencion; al parecer la realidad empieza a imitar al arte. "Epidemic" se siente como un chiste privado de von Trier. Es un experimento conceptualmente interesante con una pobre ejecucion.

  • Mar 05, 2013

    IT was an interesting concept but completely boring. I did like the ending though.

    IT was an interesting concept but completely boring. I did like the ending though.

  • Feb 02, 2013

    Actually a very good idea but the execution is awful. This was, for lack of a better word, BORING.

    Actually a very good idea but the execution is awful. This was, for lack of a better word, BORING.

  • Nov 03, 2012

    An interesting movie. Way too meta and boring and stupid in a lot of parts, but overall a pretty fun watch. The brilliant/hilarious/creative Lars Von Trier moment that makes it worth watching is the comparison of toothpaste and disease as well as one of the characters writing letters to school girls to find out what it's like in another country.

    An interesting movie. Way too meta and boring and stupid in a lot of parts, but overall a pretty fun watch. The brilliant/hilarious/creative Lars Von Trier moment that makes it worth watching is the comparison of toothpaste and disease as well as one of the characters writing letters to school girls to find out what it's like in another country.