Breaking the Waves

Breaking the Waves

Director: Lars von Trier Cast: Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgård, Katrin Cartlidge

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With Breaking The Waves, director Lars von Trier fashions an often disturbing tale of the singular power of love. Bess (the Oscar-nominated Emily Watson) is a naïve, borderline simple young woman who lives in a Scottish coastal town ruled by the religious doctrine of its council of elders. Recovering from a mental breakdown caused by the death of her brother, Bess marries a rough yet compassionate and attentive oil rig worker named Jan (Stellan Skarsgård). For a brief time, the couple enjoys peaceful wedded bliss, with the worldly Jan introducing Bess to the mysteries of sex. Jan must soon return to his job on the rig, however, where he is paralyzed from the neck down in a freak accident. Bess' emotional trauma over Jan's injury turns into obsession as she prays to God for his recovery and offers to do anything to have her husband back whole. Jan, constantly medicated and profoundly depressed, asks Bess to have sex with other men and tell him about it, thinking this will allow her to return to a normal life. Bess, on the other hand, sees it as an expression of her devotion to Jan that even God won't be able to ignore. Bess's resultant downward spiral leads to a finale of both tragedy and spirituality. Breaking the Waves is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive European movies of the 1990s, marking von Trier's movement toward his influential Dogma 95 school of filmmaking, which emphasizes realistic situations of contemporary life, filmed without background music and with a hand-held, restlessly moving camera.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/15/2014
UPC: 0715515114714
Original Release: 1996
Rating: R
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1A
Time: 2:39:00
Sales rank: 7,401

Special Features

Selected-scene Audio Commentary featuring von Trier, Editor Anders Refn, and location scout Anthony Dod Mantle; New interview with filmmaker and critic Stig Björkman; New interviews with actors Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgård; Interview from 2004 with actor Adrian Rawlins; Excerpts from Watson's audition tape, with Commentary by von Trier; Deleted scene featuring the late actor Katrin Cartlidge; Cannes Film Festival promotional clip; Trailer; Plus: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Sterritt and an excerpt from the 1999 book Trier on von Trier

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Emily Watson Bess McNeill
Stellan Skarsgård Jan
Katrin Cartlidge Dodo McNeill
Jean-Marc Barr Terry
Adrian Rawlins Dr. Richardson
Sandra Voe Bess' Mother
Roef Ragas Pim
Gavin Mitchell Policeman
Anthony O'Donnell Boy
Ronnie McKellaig Precentor
Phil McCall Grandfather
Brian Smith Police Officer
John Wark Boy
Desmond Reilly Elder
Dorte Rømer Nurse
Robert Robertson Chairman
Finlay Welsh Coroner
Bob Docherty Man on Boat
Callum Cuthbertson Radio Operator
David Gallacher Glasgow Doctor
Mikal Gaup Pits
Iain Agnew Praying Man
Peter Bensted Ugly Man
David Bateson Young Sailor
Steven Leach Praying Man
Charles Kearney Praying Man
Owen Kavanagh Man at Lighthouse
Udo Kier Sadistic sailor
Sarah Gudgeon Sybilla
Jonathan Hackett Priest
Simon Towler Jorfald Boy in Film
Ray Jeffries Man on Bus

Technical Credits
Lars von Trier Director,Screenwriter
Morten Arnfred Asst. Director
Axel Helgeland Co-producer
Joachim Holbek Score Composer
Peter Aalbæk Jensen Producer
Lars Jönsson Executive Producer
Karl Juliusson Production Designer
Rob Langestraat Co-producer
Robby Müller Cinematographer
Joyce Nettles Casting
Manon Rasmussen Costumes/Costume Designer
Anders Refn Editor
Marianne Slot Co-producer
Per Streit Sound/Sound Designer
Peter van Vogelpoel Co-producer
Vibeke Windeløv Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Breaking the Waves
1. "His Name is Jan" [2:09]
2. Chapter One: Bess Gets Married [15:16]
3. Chapter Two: Life with Jan [10:07]
4. Saying Good-Bye [9:52]
5. Chapter Three: Life Alone [8:09]
6. Bess's Wish [4:43]
7. The Accident [10:06]
8. Chapter Four: Jan's Illness [10:39]
9. Jan's Plea [8:24]
10. Chapter Five: Doubt [3:38]
11. A Bus Ride [9:09]
12. Signs of Healing [3:56]
13. Chapter Six: Faith [2:30]
14. Bess, the Whore [6:41]
15. Bess's Talent [5:11]
16. Committed [7:23]
17. Chapter Seven: Bess' Sacrifice [3:56]
18. Outcast [3:52]
19. Last Attempt [8:45]
20. Epilogue: The Funeral [8:17]
Disc #2 -- Breaking the Waves
1. Cutting on Emotion [7:16]
2. Primitive Visual Effects [6:27]
3. Mantle's Funeral [2:11]
4. Violent Time Cuts [7:38]
5. All Bible Bashers at Heart [7:57]
6. Rage at Test Screenings [9:43]
7. Directing Via Video Link [5:57]

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