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Classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection.
Directed by Lars von Trier • 1991 • Spain, Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Switzerland
Starring Jean-Marc Barr, Barbara Sukowa, Udo Kier
“You will now listen to my voice . . . On the count of ten you will be in Europa . . .” So begins Max von Sydow’s opening narration to Lars von Trier’s hypnotic EUROPA (known in the U.S. as ZENTROPA), a fever dream in which American pacifist Leopold Kessler (Jean-Marc Barr) stumbles into a job as a sleeping-car conductor for the Zentropa railways in a Kafkaesque 1945 postwar Frankfurt. With its gorgeous black-and-white and color imagery and meticulously recreated (if then nightmarishly deconstructed) costumes and sets, EUROPA is one of the great Danish filmmaker’s weirdest and most wonderful works, a runaway-train ride to an oddly futuristic past.