My friend refers to Lars von Trier films (such as “Dancer in the Dark”) as “slit your wrist” films. Slate film critic Dana Stevens wrote after seeing Antichrist that she wasn’t sure if she would watch another of his films (she did).
I stopped with “Dancer in the Dark.” Why feel bad for no reason? I felt bad watching “Hotel Rwanda” but that was based on real events that make you question the world – How does something like this happen? What can be done to prevent it again? How does politics play into what happened? What would I do if that happened around me?
In other words, it’s cathartic.
Watching a von Trier film makes me feel bad with no purpose as though bad were just a flavor of gum to chew today, a gum that unfortunately leaves a residue in your mouth and ruins the taste of dinner.
What drives von Trier to darkness?
Sun in Taurus and moon in Capricorn represent a practical, down to earth being. Taurus, the fixed earth sign, relates more than any other sign to material reality and values stability, reliability and loyalty. Capricorn, the cardinal earth sign, is about power, control and responsibility. Both are serious signs that view the world as a serious place. Moon in Capricorn is associated with coldness and lack of emotion as the moon is meant to express but Capricorn’s nature is to control.
von Trier’s new movie title, Melancholia, probably speaks directly to why his movies are so dark. He is probably chronically melancholy and has an earth sign lack of ability to imagine himself differently. He may be sharing with us how he feels all the time. He may consider anything cheerful to be “unreal.”
Utopia was written by an Aquarius (air), Disneyworld was created by a Sagittarius (fire) and Las Vegas was imagined by a Pisces (water). Air, fire and water dream crazy dreams. Earth plans. Earth pays the bills. Earth cleans the upholstery. Planning, paying the bills and cleaning the upholstery may be necessary but aren’t what many would call fun.
Taurus and Capricorn are very capable signs who work hard. In earth sign fashion, they seek to have practical application of their goals. Earth signs do not sit in their bedrooms scribbling poetry in spiral notebooks. They send their poetry to the New Yorker. If they can’t crystallize the poetry into something concrete, then it has no value for them.
It’s important, then, for earth signs to have a positive focus. Ohio Astrology has looked at the charts of some other Taurus sun / Capricorn moon combinations – Ohio Governor John Kasich, actor George Clooney and German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. Whether the earth sign focus is positive (Clooney), negative (Hitler) or debatable (Kasich), the native will use all energy possible to turn ideas into concrete reality.
An interesting aspect in von Trier’s chart is the Mercury (in Gemini) / Saturn (in Sagittarius) opposition in 0 degrees. Saturn in Sagittarius can suggest a strict upbringing with lots of rules and little conversation about those rules. Mercury in Gemini is a talkative placement, seeking conversation as stimulus to explore the world. It’s like someone said, “Shut up” every time he wanted to talk.
As Pluto transits the sign of Capricorn, von Trier’s moon will be hit with a destructive but ultimately transformative force. He may have problems with women that create the need for him to express his emotions more clearly and openly.
The black-hole view of the universe portrayed in von Trier’s movies may be his Capricorn moon talking. Depression may result from the inability to express feelings rather than from the feelings themselves. Resentment is common in Capricorn and comes when others do not do what you want, which is just about all the time.
Or maybe von Trier transforms his melancholy by filming it. Maybe when he’s done with the film, he kicks back on a recliner, opens a beer and watches some Mickey Mouse cartoons.
I hope so. Otherwise he may have that view that cynical earth signs sometimes have that only negative manifestations are “real.” Extreme negativity is its own delusion as much as believing you were once Napoleon so that you can feel powerful. Extreme negativity is simply a defense that renders the outside world as “stupid” because they believe themselves to be happy. If you are depressed, happy people might be like that light shining on you when you walk out of a theater. It hurts, until you get used to it.