Astrid Henning-jensen

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The Element Of Crime Review


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Before he decided camera trickery was actually a bad thing (in re his Dogme 95 movement), Lars von Trier couldn't get enough of it -- as is evident in his first English-language feature, The Element of Crime. A twisted tale of a cop who undergoes a hypnotic treatment in order to track down a serial killer of young girls, Crime is shot under almost exclusively red lighting, giving the impression that you are seeing the film through a haze of blood.

This is interesting for five minutes, but after 105 it gets tedious to an extreme. It also makes it extremely difficult to actually see what's going on -- not only is everything red, but the whole film is shot at night and almost all of it in the rain.

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