DIRECTOR: Lars von Trier | WRITERS: Lars von Trier, Niels Vørsel | CAST: Jean-Marc Barr, Barbara Sukowa, Udo Kier, Ernst-Hugo Järegård, Erik Mørk, Jørgen Reenberg, Henning Jensen, Eddie Constantine, Max von Sydow, Benny Poulsen | Denmark
Surprisingly, Europa is my first Lars von Trier film, but since he left this early style behind in the dust for the greener pastures of Dogme 95 it’s apparently atypical of his oeuvre. That’s a pity because Europa is an absolute triumph of style. And of a particular kind of style: a mannered, high-gloss, artificiality that reminds me of Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life, John Baldessari, Gilbert and George, of The Face and Arena magazines when Neville Brody was their art director. And there’s at least one bravura overhead traveling dolly hot that left me open mouthed. Yes, there’s more to the movie than how it looks, but in this case that’s plenty. (OK: Eddie Constantine can’t act and Jean-Marc Barr looks too much like Keanu Reeves for my comfort, but there’s a lot that I don’t find problematic or disconcerting.) I’m knocking off a point for Nina Hagen’s atrocious song over the final credits.