The Element of Crime

( 2 )

Overview

Before the back-to-basics approach of the Dogma 95 manifesto, director Lars Von Trier was enamored by the tricks of filmmaking. His first feature, The Element of Crime, is an amber-soaked visual feast. With its distinctive color scheme, previous transfers of the film have been a muddy mess, making for a less than satisfying home-viewing experience. With this release from The Criterion Collection, the images have been restored splendidly. The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is 16 x 9 enhanced. The ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Mono)
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Overview

Before the back-to-basics approach of the Dogma 95 manifesto, director Lars Von Trier was enamored by the tricks of filmmaking. His first feature, The Element of Crime, is an amber-soaked visual feast. With its distinctive color scheme, previous transfers of the film have been a muddy mess, making for a less than satisfying home-viewing experience. With this release from The Criterion Collection, the images have been restored splendidly. The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is 16 x 9 enhanced. The soundtrack is in its original mono, so some of the dialogue competes with the rain-soaked sets, but much of that problem can be abated by enabling the English subtitles. The disc also features color bars, a theatrical trailer, and a documentary on the filmmaker. Entitled "Transformer: A Portrait of Lars Von Trier, it is a candid examination of his career consisting of numerous on-camera interviews with Von Trier and those who have worked on his films, as well as on-set footage of his breakthrough film Breaking the Waves. Though short on supplemental features, the print quality makes this disc another flawless presentation from Criterion.
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Special Features

Widescreen digital transfer, enhanced for 16x9 televisions; Stig Bjorkman's critically acclaimed 52-minute documentary: "Tranceformer: A Portrait of Lars von Trier" [1997], with optional English subtitles; Trailer; In English with optional subtitles; Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Lars von Trier's The Element of Crime is a cerebral, postmodern, well-conceived, and beautifully shot film. But for all of its cleverness and its striking imagery, it's strangely unsatisfying. After making this film, and the equally stylized but more entertaining Zentropa, von Trier eventually moved on to co-found the Dogme movement. After making The Element of Crime, it would be understandable if the filmmaker felt he'd exhausted the possibilities of this kind of cinema. The Element of Crime's vaguely sci-fi premise is reminiscent of other postmodern science fiction
oirs like Alphaville and Blade Runner, and presages the geometrically motivated serial killer and color-coded dystopia in Alex Cox's Death and the Compass. This film's carefully composed images, strange color scheme, and amusingly self-conscious voice-over couldn't be further from Dogme. While it's fairly fascinating, sporadically funny, and intellectually engaging, it all seems more like an elaborate mind game than a story, and it's completely devoid of emotional weight. Von Trier is comically aware of the film's shaky plotting. The hypnotist (Ahmed El Shenawi) reminds his meandering narrator, Fisher (Michael Elphick), early on in the film, "The story, what is the story?" and he could just as well ask it again at the end. Von Trier mined richer emotional ground in his later films, and while his sincerity will probably always be questioned, few would disagree that his post-Dogme work has more raw emotional power. The Element of Crime is impressive filmmaking, but it's very cold.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/19/2000
  • UPC: 037429149423
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 36,064

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Elphick Fisher
Esmond Knight Osborne
Me Me Lai Kim
Astrid Henning-Jensen Housekeeper
János Herskó Coroner
Stig Larsson assistant
Camilla Overbye Roos First Lotto Girl
Maria Behrendt Lotto Girls
Lars von Trier Schmuck of Ages
Gotha Andersen Judge
Jon Bang Carlsen Angry Policeman
Preben Leerdorff-Rye Grandfather
Leif Magnusson Hotel Guest
Jerold Wells Police Chief Kramer
Technical Credits
Lars von Trier Director, Camera Operator, Original Story, Producer, Screenwriter
Per Arman Production Manager
Birte Christensen Makeup
Tom Elling Cinematographer, Screenwriter
Tómas Gíslason Editor, Screenwriter
Peter Hoimark Production Designer
Per Holst Producer
Bo Holten Score Composer
Manon Rasmussen Costumes/Costume Designer
Niels Voersel Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Cairo [:14]
2. Osbourne [2:45]
3. Kramer [5:38]
4. Lotto Murders [1:53]
5. The Archives [5:37]
6. A Beatiful Corpse [3:42]
7. Who Is Harry Grey? [4:37]
8. The Tailing Report [:38]
9. Halberschtad [2:38]
10. Kim [5:16]
11. Tunnel of Love [3:26]
12. Counting [4:59]
13. Dritten Marsk [:34]
14. Drifting [3:38]
15. A Mess [3:55]
16. Meeting [3:56]
17. The Dive [5:29]
18. End Credits [5:45]
0. Tranceformer: A Portrait of Lars von Tier
1. From One to Ten [3:05]
2. Orgins / Europa Trilogy [3:25]
3. Upbringing [5:23]
4. Enfant Terrible [3:43]
5. Evil and Idealism [1:08]
6. Phobias [6:42]
7. Breaking the Waves [:12]
8. A Little Knight [2:53]
9. A Personal Perestroika [5:12]
10. Creation and Destruction [1:15]
11. End Credits [4:53]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Trailer
   Color Bars
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    OUT OF THOUSANDS OF MOVIES ONLY A

    OUT OF THOUSANDS OF MOVIES ONLY A HANDFULL ARE TRUE MASTERPEICES. THE ELEMENT OF CRIME IS ONE OF THOSE MASTERPEICES. SO FEW MOVIES ARE WELL CRAFTED FROM BEGINNING TO END. THE ELEMENT OF CRIME ACHEIVES ITS GREATNESS FOR ITS DREAM LIKE QUALITY.THE STORY SEEMS ALWAYS SLIGHTLY OUT OF FOCUS DRAWING YOU IN DEEPER AND DEEPER.ITS ONE OF THOSE MOVIES THAT NOT UNTIL ITS OVER DO YOU THINK WOW THAT WAS REALLY STRANGE. THATS WHAT THE ELEMENT OF CRIME IS STRANGE AND DREAMLIKE. THE CINEMATAGRAPHY IS SURREALISTIC. IT ALLWAYS SEEMS TO BE RAINING. THE BAD GUY IS NEVER FOUND BUT WHO CARES. WHAT A WEIRD RIDE. HERE IS MY TOP TEN FILMS. 2001 SPACE ODEYSSEY. THE GRADUATE.THE TIME MACHINE THE ORIGINAL NOT THE AWFULL REMAKE.GROUND HOG DAY. FORBIDDEN PLANET.ENTER THE DRAGON.THE MECHANIC.ITS A WONDERFULL LIFE.THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY. AND THE ELEMENT OF CRIME.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews