Through my process of drafting, I am still trying to decide what exactly to use. I have some interesting (or at least I think there interesting), ideas about the tableaux in Melancholia as well as many different scenes throughout the film. I am working with Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia in which he suggests that the primary feelings of Melancholia are “painful dejection, cessation of interest in the outside world, loss of the capacity to love, inhibition of all activity, and a lowering of the self-regarding feelings to a degree that finds utterance in self-reproaches, and self-revilings, and culminates in a delusional aspect of punishment.” I am also looking at the idea that mourning and melancholia are somewhat the same idea and when undergoing feelings of either the patient cannot “consciously” acknowledge what they have lost either.
Along with this theory I have made connections to Melancholia in the sense that Justine is suffering from depression and in this case Melancholia. She has lost interest in the outside world pertaining to society, unable to be “happy” at her wedding because she is well aware of the events to come, does not partake in any activities and is unable to partake in basic activities (needs instructions on how to get into the cab), along with this she also partakes in a view of the world that would prove opposite of Freud’s suggestion of a “delusional aspect of punishment.” This idea suggests that the patient suffering from depression is forming unrealistic expectations of punishment, however Justine is realistic in this sense. The definition of realism that I am working with is as follows ““ based on an accuracy of description and to a more general attitude that rejects idealization, escapism, and other extravagant qualities of romance in favor of recognizing soberly the actual problems of life”( Oxford Literary Terms, 212). I think this specifically applies to Justine because she is seeing the world for what it actually occurring even though everything is morbid and everyone else may think she is delusional. Claire actually fits the description for delusional act of punishment in regards to her thinking because Justine views her as being punished since she is unable to cope with this idea that the world is ending.
I am also looking at Shaviro’s piece on the Romantic Anit- Sublime, he makes points about depression suggesting that by bringing attention to Justine’s emotions the audience can treat her depression as the proper state of being, or the right state of mind for this situation. I am looking at Matts and Tynan’s idea that Melancholia the film is Environmental, focusing on Justine’s depression and supports the idea that Justine is going through this situation properly. They examine the film and discuss ideas that are as follows, we do not see Justine in a “normal” state and her comments about Earth itself, suggesting its evil. I am also considering Figlerowicz’s piece, which explains Melancholia is a “Comedy of Abandonment,” in which the audience reads too much into the film and no analysis should be made. Von Trier is playing tricks on his audience, evoking the feeling of analysis, however when you take part in the analysis you are reading too much into the events.
I am arguing that the Tableaux serve as a different point at which Justine had the realization that the world was ending and focus on her ideas of rejecting survival and embracing Melancholia. I am also looking at the following scenes… The scene where Justine and everyone are finally going in to her own reception and she stops to look at the “Red Star,” (Melancholia), The scene where she is going to the bathroom on the golf course and first sits in the golf cart and stares at the sky in appreciation and then proceeds to go to the bathroom in which she engages in the same activity, the scene where she is lying naked embracing Melancholia and the three things these scenes have in common is the shift from Justine’s face to the planet showing their intense connection. I am looking at a few more scenes but I need to narrow them down. Should I focus on the Tableaux in addition to three scenes or just the tableaux? Suggestions welcomed.