|It gets worse.|
Since it’s a slow week, I thought I’d share this brief experience I had a little while ago during a screening of Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, a movie which I will hopefully write more about as it nears its release date. The film itself is really good -- perhaps even a masterpiece -- but also quite upsetting, for a variety of reasons which I won’t get into but you can probably guess, given its ostensible plot.
Anyway, Melancholia is a profoundly grim movie, but its final twenty or so minutes are a real doozy -- a relentless march of almost unendurable pain. (But, y’know, in a good way.) Still, while watching the movie, I realized that there was a couple directly behind me giggling through the last twenty minutes. Lightly, but noticeably, and very much together – as if one’s giggles were setting off the other’s.
So the characters onscreen would be taking slow but inexorable steps towards annihilation and, in the background, I’d hear, “Teeheeheehee.” Who were these people? These jerks who dared snicker at the apocalypse. Were they kids? Too cool-for-school hipsters? Rex Reed and Richard Schickel out on a date?
At first, I didn't look. I figured they were just a couple of the usual Von Trier naysayers who had gotten into an early screening just to scoff at the Melancholy Dane. Whatever. I wasn’t going to let them bother me. And, like I said, they weren’t being too loud or anything. Just that they were…giggling. Teeheehee. Heeheehee. Like a couple of little kids.
And so it went. A low level but high-pitched giggle fest for the last twenty minutes of this amazingly sad film.
Finally, the credits began to roll. And they kept at it. Snickering. Giggling.
The lights began to come up. I decided to take a quick glance in their direction to see who they were, what these a-holes looked like.
And then I saw them.
They weren’t laughing.
They’d been uncontrollably whimpering, their faces covered in tears, holding hands, for the last twenty minutes. They were crying so hard it had actually sounded like giggles to me.
Enjoy Melancholia, everybody!