NEWS: Dancer in the Dark and Yeah You! @ Star and Shadow, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Having spent a career pushing at the boundaries of pop, it’s little surprise perhaps that when Björk turned her hand to taking the lead role in a musical, the end result was something starkly different from any standard Disney fare.

Directed by the ever-notorious Lars von Trier, Dancer in the Dark is a savage attack on the sentiments and ideals of the American musical, using the form to tell the tale of a naïve unfortunate for whom music and musicals are the only escape and who ends up implicated in a terrible set of events. As wilfully nasty as one might expect from a von Trier film, it’s a challenging watch that’s carried by Björk’s engrossing, Oscar-winning work as the lead character Selma, a desperate and tragic performance that suggests at a fine alternative career she could have pursued. Featuring Björk’s own songs (compiled on the Selmasongs mini-album) alongside work from the late Mark Bell as well as suitably ironic quotations from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, the film also boasts a startling soundtrack – as you might expect from Björk, of course.

Having polarised audiences and critics down the middle on its original release in 2000, Dancer in the Dark has slowly built up its own cult fanbase, happy to re-appraise the film on its own terms than on whatever expectations people might have had of a film vehicle for Björk. The Star and Shadow Cinema will be giving you another chance to catch the curious anti-musical on Saturday 17th January, where the film will be screened alongside a performance from local electronic musicians Yeah You!, whose spiky, fragmented sounds make for a simpatico accompaniment to von Trier’s film.

Dancer in the Dark followed by a performance from Yeah You! is at the Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle on Saturday 17th January.

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