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Through “muddy grid”: psychoanalytic transfer as an artistic representation of multicultural paradigm in Lars von Trier’s film “Forbrydelsens element”


We explore the psychoanalytic transfer used by Danish director Lars von Trier in his debut film “Forbrydelsens element” (1984). We consider the stages of therapeutic sleep, its composition and structure. Along with hypnosis, we also analyze the motives of the artistic system of surrealism: strangulation, nausea, narcosis, sadistic and masochistic cruelties, drowning and poisoning, penis divinity, sewage and feces, decomposition of things, carrion and other unimaginable abominations. We show how surrealism becomes an integral part of the global modern art system – postmodernism. The closest attention is paid to such postmodern principle and methods of picturing reality as the distortion of chronotope, singularity and fold. We investigate “neomythologism” and the mystery of the film. Myths, secret allegories and magical practices of all times are involved in the demonstration of the first phenomenon. Path of the policeman character is presented as the initiation of the “neophyte” into the mystery, as katabasis, as Jung's archetype of “knight’s departure into darkness”. A special place in the work is given to the analysis of satirical means of influence on the viewer: elements of farce, slapstick and grotesque. In this field of Lars von Trier’s caustic satire lies a policy of multiculturalism, still pursued by the European Union countries and becoming the last, “night” coil in the era of the Christian civilization decline. Genres of past centuries (medieval mystery, idyll, phantasmagoria), presented in the film structure, also reinforce its satirical and pressing nature.


transfer; phantasmagoria; mystery; eccentric; surrealism; postmodernism; multiculturalism; allegory; farce; demon

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