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Lars Von Trier's E-Trilogy - Element Of Crime / Epidemic / Europa - Subtitled [DVD]

Jean-Marc Barr , Eddie Constantine , Lars von Trier    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £22.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Lars Von Trier's E-Trilogy - Element Of Crime / Epidemic / Europa - Subtitled [DVD] + Dogville [DVD] + Manderlay [DVD] [2007]
Price For All Three: £30.24

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Product details

  • Actors: Jean-Marc Barr, Eddie Constantine, Michael Elphick, Niels Vorsel, Allan De Waal
  • Directors: Lars von Trier
  • Producers: Peter Halbaek Johnson, Bo Christensen, Per Holst, Jacob Eriksen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, English, German, French, Dutch
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Aug 2005
  • Run Time: 313 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A7PTGI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,650 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Triple-bill of early films from the controversial and experimental Danish director, all exploring the traumas of the European past and the difficulties it will face in the future. 'Element of Crime' (1984) is von Trier's highly stylised debut feature. Returning from exile in Egypt, police detective Leopold Fisher (Michael Elphick) is asked to investigate a series of murders in which the victims have all been young female ticket sellers. Fisher's approach is to try to adopt the perspective of the killer, and thus to predict where and when the next murder will take place, but when he meets the beautiful Kim (Me Me Lei), the line separating investigation and crime begins to blur. In 'Epidemic' (1987), von Trier plays a director collaborating with a writer on a film script about an epidemic spreading throughout the world. As they become intensely focused on their work, they fail to realise that a real epidemic is taking place around them. 'Europa' (1991) is set in the devastated aftermath of the Second World War. Leo (Jean-Marc Barr), a young German-American, travels to Germany to help rebuild the country. Working as a train conductor, he witnesses the cruel treatment of German civilians by Allied soldiers and the horrendous destruction brought about by the war (his train stops at towns that no longer exist). Eventually he becomes involved with the railroad boss's daughter, herself an ex-Nazi partisan.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Black & White, Box Set, Commentary, Documentary, Featurette, Interactive Menu, Multi-DVD Set, Scene Access, Special Edition, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Lars Von Trier is considered one of world cinema's great auteurs. His reputation has been built upon controversial and experimental films such as The Idiots, Dancer In The Dark and Dogville, that often divide audiences. However, he found his own unique voice with three early projects which have come to be known as the E-Trilogy: Element of Crime, Epidemic and Europa - all dramas concerned with the nature of identity. Element Of Crime (1984): This visually stunning debut sees a police detective, Fisher (played by Michael Elphick), attempting to solve a series of grisly crimes by becoming the killer himself. Awash with cinematic allusions, it's a foretaste of what the fledgling director would become. Epidemic (1988): Previously unreleased in the UK, this is a truly experimental film with echoes of the director's later films; The Idiots and Dogville. Starring the director as the lead and using no camera crew, the story follows a doctor attempting to stop the spread of a plague who only succeeds in spreading it further. Europa (1991): Set in Germany after the Second World War, this drama follows an idealistic young American of German descent (Jean-Marc Barr) as he tries to help re-build a damaged country, by working on the railways, whilst remaining neutral to the conflicting forces therein. To complicate matters, he falls in love with his employer's daughter and soon realises that he will have to make some difficult...Lars Von Trier Europe Trilogy - 4-DVD Box Set (UK) ( Lars Von Trier's Europe Trilogy: Element Of Crime / Epidemic / Europa ) ( Element Of Crime / Epidemic / Europa )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Lars von Trier fans of the world, rejoice!! Finally, his first three films - subtitled The Europe Trilogy, for their repeated themes of post-war devastation, optimistic main characters, and corrupt villains, etc - have been made available for the first time in this lovely box-set; which includes re-mastered versions of all three films with commentaries throughout by von Trier and his collaborators, behind the scenes documentaries, interviews, short-films, trailers, biographies and more. The three films all look stunning, with von Trier personally supervising the re-mastering of the original prints and the overall sound-design. This was the period when von Trier could definitely have been referred to as the most visually distinctive filmmaker on the planet, and it shows, with the young filmmaker using everything from strong colour filters, moody lighting, crane-shots, tracking shots, front and rear-screen projection, composition, forced perspectives and distinctive production design, to create a surreal world that draws heavily on the combined influence of Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, Tarkovsky's Stalker, and the collected works of Franz Kafka.
His first film, The Element Of Crime, is a moody colour-tinted European-noir unfolding in a post-apocalyptic city, where a hound-dog detective must search for a vicious child-murderer using only the book written by his mentor as a guide. The story is, of course, preposterous, with von Trier pitching the whole thing halfway between Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and the aforementioned Tarkovsky epic, with the film's sepia-printed dreamscapes giving way to an angst-ridden internal struggle for it's central character.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute work of genius 18 April 2006
By Mellis
There really aren't that many people who can be said to have totally altered the way we perceive film as an art form but Lars Von Trier is one such man. That may sound like pseudo-artsy bull but anyone who's seen any of his films would agree. The films in this trilogy cross so many genres and visual styles in such a stunning and idiosyncratic fashion that it is virtually impossible to actually describe them. Quite simply, you have to watch them. I'll have a go at describing the basics though:

Element Of Crime plays like a beautiful cross between The Maltese Falcon and Apocalypse Now as Elphick's hero gradually becomes immersed in a deranged world of vice and utterly deranged goings-on. There are dozens of cinephile in-jokes within the film (like the fact that some shots are set up to deliberatly resemble scenes from The Maltese Falcon) and if you get these you can feel very smug with yourself for knowing a bit of film, that said I've probably missed loads myself and I'm none the worse for it, it's still great entertainment. Some truly brilliant visuals, especially the scenes on the beach and with the butchery in the river. All in all a pretty staggering breakthrough into the world of cinema.

Epidemic is a totally different film, made on a tiny budget with almost no cast whatsoever. The great use of colour in Element Of Crime is replaced with a stark black & white which sets off the depressing, pessimistic mood very aptly. The word 'Epidemic' appearing in the top-left corner of the screen when typed into a typewriter and staying there for the entire duration of the film is an indication of the almost documentary feel some of the film has.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I bought this set a while ago, and only started watching it today. As I stress in the title, my two stars refer to the quality of these dvds, not of the films. I have only watched the first dvd so far (Element of Crime). The combination of bad sound quality, a lot of mumbling and strange accents made me reach for the remote to turn on subtitles. Surprise! There are more than a dozen different options for subtitles, but the only English ones are subtitles of some commentary, not of the film! I had to made do with French or German subtitles, which was quite annoying. Had I known that the sound was so bad, I would not have bought the box set. If you, like me, have invested in a good quality tv and only buy original dvds in order to ensure high quality viewing, I don't think you'll be very happy with this box set.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic viewing 11 Oct 2006
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Seen together, Lars Von Trier's Europa trilogy isn't exactly a profound experience, but it does underline the fact that even when he's boring he's never dull. On one level, none of them should work and none of them do, yet on another there's an audacity to them that engages far more than the subject matter: at times, the hypnotic execution is more than enough to compensate for the narrative confusion. Indeed, the whole trilogy seems to be driven by dreams and trances. Element of Crime is a tale emotionlessly told by a detective under hypnosis, his lack of passion in his voice-over often mirrored by the artificiality of the performances and the dreamlike imagery of a burned out, waterlogged Europe that feels like one of the fevered headaches that consume him as he becomes the monster he is supposedly tracing down. Epidemic even ends with an apocalyptic hypnotic trance as the parasitic pair of Von Trier and his insufferably smug screenwriter Niels Vorsel, who have been feeding on the pain and misery of others for inspiration for a script, even turning a painful memory from Udo Kier into a scene in their proposed film, ultimately reap what they sow. A mixture of the odd great image (Von Trier's doctor hanging from a rope with a Red Cross flag attached) and the mundane, it's an apt reminder of just how similar the act of artistic creation can be to a contagious disease that wounds those who come into its orbit.

Europa, aka Zentropa, opens with Max Von Sydow's unseen narrator hypnotising the audience to bring them into the film.
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