Given the current recommendation to stay home and practice social distancing, we at the Chicago International Film Festival are looking at past selections from each year of the Festival that you can stream now from home. Stream our past selections as we look forward to the 56th Chicago International Film Festival this October 14-25, 2020. Find the full 56 Films for 56 Years selections here.
Today’s #56Films entry, recommended by Senior Programmer Anthony Kaufman, is Lars Von Trier’s nightmarish debut feature which won the Silver Hugo at the 20th Chicago International Film Festival in 1984.
Director: Lars Von Trier
20th Chicago International Film Festival
Before Lars von Trier shocked audiences with outré films such as Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, and Nymphomaniac, the Danish sadistic-misogynistic auteur created this nightmarish debut feature–a highly stylized sepia-stained film noir about an amnesiac ex-cop on the hunt for a serial killer. Winner of the Silver Hugo at the 1984 Chicago International Film Festival, the film is a boldly cinematic mix of Tarkovsky’s Stalker, Godard’s Alphaville, and the cynical Wellesian post-war classic The Third Man. But The Element of Crime is also von Trier’s own uniquely lurid vision of a dystopian Europe, and the evil that men inexorably do. – Anthony Kaufman, Senior Programmer