Moon and Melancholia (walk hand in hand)

Kirsten Dunst is Justine in Lars von Trier’s masterpiece ‘Melancholia’
Kirsten Dunst is Justine in Lars von Trier’s masterpiece ‘Melancholia’

One of my favorite songs of all time is ‘Moon’ by Foals and I was moved so much by the impact of first hearing it that I immediately wound up reading online into the meanings of the lyrics and the conception of the piece. Whilst that might sound strange, it’s a tendency and interest I’ve had since as long as I can remember and also, I had no knowledge as to Foals being capable of such a cinematic piece (mainly because my sister used to assault my ears with their earlier upbeat material). Being an analytic English Literature student, singer and a writer, lyrics bode a certain importance when I’m hearing music. I like to look into people’s interpretations of a song because there’s so many meanings that can be deciphered, especially when the writer remains cryptic about their material.

Imagine my surprise when, along this process of reading, I stumbled across an interview in which Yannis Philippakis (lead singer of Foals) stated that the opening shots of Melancholia happened to be the inspiration behind his haunting imagery, graphically depicting the end of the world:

‘Now I see you, trouble, it’s coming up ahead.
Black dogs running through the fields, they’re dripping red’

Melancholia only happens to be one of my favorite films of all time and it just so happens that my appreciation for Lars von Trier as a director is level to Darren Aronofsky, which means I really, really dig his work and artistic vision.

Melancholia is typically known as depression; something which was experienced by von Trier himself. He has since stated that he was fascinated by the revelation his therapist provided in that those with depression sometimes maintain a sense of calm, somewhat disaffected in the face of disaster whilst others don’t. This is perhaps why Melancholia is also, incidentally, the name assigned to the planet hurtling towards Earth within the movie. Lars presents a forlorn Justine (played by Dunst) who harbors a deep-rooted depression, disconnected from the dream wedding to a loving partner. The relationships of the cast and their fears are explored as the imminent end of the world draws nearer.

I saw today that somebody has combined the music to the opening shots and in doing so, has created something powerful and emotively moving. I would recommend both watching Melancholia and then laying down on the floor, shutting your eyes, drowning out the world and appreciating the visionary words of Moon. Cinematically, it’s gorgeous. Musically, it’s spine-tingling. I really hope that you enjoy and that you are inspired just as much as I am by both.

Link to the music accompanying the opening shots of the film:

Yannis Philippakis, lead singer of Foals.
Yannis Philippakis, lead singer of Foals.

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