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Revisiting Melancholie der Engel Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Richard Taylor   
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Review of Revisiting Melancholie der Engel on Severed Cinema

Directed by: Luciano Onetti
Directed by: Magnus Blomdahl
Written by: Magnus Blomdahl
Produced by: Magnus Blomdahl
Cinematography by: Magnus Blomdahl
Cast: Marian Dora, Magnus Blomdahl
Year: 2016
Country: Germany
Language: English (with English subtitles)
Color: Color
Runtime: 51min

Official Website:

Marian Dora has received as much praise as he has loathing for his body of work. No film brings out more controversy into the open than what is considered his finest hour(s). Melancholie der Engel is such film -- a movie about what Dora describes as life, death and every emotion all rolled together in many perverse acts on screen. A movie which Dora has said to have caused him as much strife in the making as the reaction he gets from some people from watching. Magnus Blomdahl was so fascinated about the aura of mystery that surrounds Dora and Melancholie der Engel (Dora’s face remains altered in this to protect him due to fear of persecution), that he had to do a documentary specifically on Melancholie.

I have personally conducted an interview with Dora in the past (interview here), because I had a lot of questions to ask about what makes his brain work in regards to featuring some of the most extreme and obscene acts on film, including defecation, sodomy, urination, bestiality, animal cruelty, enema's, anal penetration and so forth. Dora gave me some brilliant answers, and comes across as a true artist, amidst all of these disgusting acts, which he believes are a part of life in all its ugliness and beauty.

With Revisiting Melancholie der Engel, Blomdahl focuses specifically on visiting the actual locations of Melancholie der Engel with Dora, and some locations for Dora's film Cannibal. We get some equally fascinating and frustrating information. I love when Dora says how much trouble and horrible making Melancholie was, but I wanted this to go into more specifics, with detailed questions and answers like, how did they film such fucked up scenes in a church? How did they bear witness and take part in that pig slaughtering scene? I know the rabbit died, but why and why did they cut its head off and gut it for the film? Answers I'm sure I would never be satisfied with even if I got them.

The mystery and gloom surround
Melancholie seems to be surreal -- in that, I mean, everything that they shot, or the scenes that just happened like they were meant to, was as if some supernatural energy controlled it. The creepy house they shot in was filled with bones and foul smelling remains. They used dead mice which just happened to be laying on the ground, and the perfect natural lighting for particular scenes when they shot, gave it that dreamy-like atmosphere. The locations all have such a natural beauty to them. I was most surprised with the fact that the house Melancholie was filmed in was in such a central location -- I thought it was a secluded area, and found it amusing the crew had an audience of onlookers during a goat sodomy scene.

At the beginning of the film we get a look at Dora's home and the guy has an interesting collection of VHS. We get to see all the scripts in envelopes for his films in a cabinet, weird old tools, mannequins laying around and other things. We also learn Dora's inspiration for everything he has done came from artwork from a cover featuring a skull and candles -- a picture that stuck with him early in life and evoked a morbid curiosity within. In one disturbing scene in the film, Blomdahl and Dora climb a hill in the German countryside and spot two pointy rocks Dora says are called "The Stone Virgins." It was said two girls were raped and killed on the hill and claims you could kill a 10-year-old girl up here and no one would know. It’s bit of a bizarre and specific comment to make. Also, when they visit another location, Dora exclaims that a random young girl was taking a shit on the floor so they couldn't film there, okay!? We also learn that Dora gained great satisfaction from fans who appreciate his work and was emotional when a fan approached him for an autograph, and said
Melancholie helped him get through hard times! It must have really been one hell of a time to take solace and comfort in such a film. Melancholie is a dark fantasy film, and despite the ugly content featured, it also displays beauty in nature no matter how ugly -- and that soundtrack just flows with genius and transcends the events on screen with abhorrent beauty.

I'm certain Blomdahl could talk with Dora for an eternity about his movies and this documentary is fascinating for those who want a closer look at the filmmaker, but he's not the monster or crazy director people believe. He is a smart, well-spoken and misunderstood artist whose body of work will continue to inspire and revolt. Blomdahl has shed some light on the mystery that is Marian Dora and the passion the director has for his films.

Bending Morality: The World of Marian Dora - A Severed Cinema Interview.

 Melancholie der Engel Review





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