Kirkeby’s panoramas in von Trier’s *Breaking the Waves*

Per Kirkeby has created unforgettable works of art, some of which were commissioned for three of Lars von Trier’s films. After watching all of von Trier’s theatrical releases over the last three months, I kept returning to Kirkeby’s digitally-altered landscapes in Breaking the Waves (1996) for inspiration.

To avoid spoilers, I’m including screenshots only of the latter half of each episode/chapter intro. Watch the movie for the full effect! NOTE: Von Trier films are not for the faint of heart.

Breaking the Waves, Chapter One

Breaking the Waves - Chapter Two

Breaking the Waves - Chapter Three

Breaking the Waves - Chapter Four

Breaking the Waves - Chapter Five

Breaking the Waves - Chapter Six

Breaking the Waves - Chapter Seven

Breaking the Waves - Epilogue

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re curious enough to see the chapter titles at the beginning of each scene, you can watch this YouTube video, or see stills on this dropbox gallery I created. I found the 70s rock/pop music to be as enthralling as the accompanying visuals.

Episode track listing with movie timestamps:

  1. 1:52-2:18 “All the Way from Memphis” by Mott the Hoople
  2. 17:08-17:42 “In a Broken Dream” by Python Lee Jackson
  3. 36:57-37:29 “Crossed Eyed Mary” by Jethro Tull
  4. 59:49-60:41 “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum
  5. 82:31-83:17 “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen
  6. 98:08-98:50 “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John
  7. 121:16-121:59 “Child in Time” by Deep Purple
  8. Epilogue 142:11-143:32 “Life on Mars” by David Bowie (“Your Song” by Elton John in most DVD releases)

I also found a good playlist on Grooveshark of 18 songs from the film; classic rock fans will appreciate this. I can’t verify the source of this interview, but it sounds like Lars von Trier’s words: a discussion about Breaking the Waves.

From Swedish DVD cover:
Breaking the Waves - Swedish DVD cover