BySeptember 18, 2000
The very first sequence in The Element of Crime sets the tone not just for this haunting film but for the entire career of Danish wunderkind Lars von Trier. An Egyptian psychiatrist gazes down . . . Read more »
Lars von Trier’s stunning debut film is the story of Fisher, an exiled ex-cop who returns to his old beat to catch a serial killer with a taste for young girls. Influenced equally by Hitchcock and science fiction, von Trier (Europa, Breaking the Waves, The Idiots) boldly reinvents expressionist style for his own cinematic vision of a post-apocalyptic world. Shot in shades of sepia, with occasional, startling flashes of bright blue, The Element of Crime (Forbrydelsens Element) combines dark mystery and operatic sweep to yield a pure celluloid nightmare.