En Bloms (Lars von Trier, 1971, Denmark)

En Blomst is a short film directed in 1971 by a 15-year-old Lars von Trier - here credited as "Lars Trier." The film, which is silent except for a musical score, begins with a young man walking along a path. We follow him as the path leads toward a town. There are many shots of the young man's legs as he walks along the path. He happens upon something along the ground and picks it up, examining it. he takes the item with him on his journey. The item seems to be a dead animal, which he buries. We see a quite artful shot of the young man in silhouette along a hill. 


The young, blonde-haired man runs away, as Handel's "Hallelujah" plays in the background. We turn back toward the trees, again in silhouette against a white sky. The boy seems to revisit the burial site, making sure the dirt is OK. A plant is now growing on the spot, which the young man attends to, moving rocks around. The flowers have grown fully now. We hear the sound of planes flying overhead, and the young man stands up to look at the sky. The planes are flying off in the distance.


We return to the young man now and he seems to be lying dead on the soil. The flower he planted has also died. The "Hallelujah" chorus starts again. While En Blomst is by no means a masterpiece, it is a remarkably solid effort from a teenager who made it on a limited budget in the 1970s. Even at this time, Von Trier had a distinct aesthetic sensibility, and also a willingness to play with expectations, as the film's bleak and surprising finale suggests. The film is worth seeking out for those looking to trace the trajectory of his artistic development.

6/10 

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