Arts + Entertainment

“Melancholia” at Court Square Theater

If you’re like me, Sunday afternoon typically isn’t the most eventful part of the week, often reserved for sitting on my couch. Last Sunday, I decided to try something different and head over to Court Square Theater to catch a movie showing.

Watching a movie in Court Square Theater is definitely a different experience than your average movie theater. As you enter the theater, you are first greeted by a small concessions stand offering everything from movie theater snack staples, like popcorn and soda, to locally-crafted beers.  Although Court Square Theater has only been in operation since 1998, the theater itself looks like something straight out of the 1920s with an art deco feel. The deep red and green walls are lined with stone gargoyles and crests, recycled from the old Rockingham Motor Showroom. 250 over-sized red movie seats fill the theater, making any film more enjoyable to watch.

Court Square Theater features live theater and music as well as foreign and independent films. The indie film I caught on Sunday was Melancholia by Lars von Trier. The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård, and Kirsten Dunst- who won best actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance.

Melancholia, with the tagline “It will change everything,” opens with a few minutes of intense visual stills, cluing the audience in on the storyline. The film, split into two chapters – Justine and Claire– begins at Justine (Dunst) and Michael’s (Skarsgård) wedding reception, hosted by the bride’s sister and brother-in-law (Gainsbourg and Sutherland) at their beautiful Swiss mansion and golf-course. As the reception goes on, Justine’s declining mental state becomes apparent as she struggles to keep up appearances. Meanwhile, a strange star appears in the sky- the planet Melancholia. The second chapter of the film centers on the course of the planet Melancholia, and how each of the characters deals differently with the planet’s potential for destruction and their unsure fate.

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Lars von Trier’s beautiful imagery paired with a dark story line and fleeting hints of comedy creates a sharp contrast that grants the movie a great deal of intrigue. The director describes Melancholia best as “a beautiful movie about the end of the world.” Court Square Theater will be showing Melancholia through February 23 for just $6. Check out the theater’s webpage for up to date movie times for Melancholia, as well as information on upcoming films such as Rise, Farmageddon, and Healing the Land.

Katina Stevenson is the Promotions Intern for Spring 2012. She is a senior Communication Studies major with a concentration in Public Relations at James Madison University.

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