'Dancer in the Dark' and the infamous list of dangerous movies

‘Dancer in the Dark’ and the infamous list of dangerous movies

In 2007, Premiere Magazine was put together a list of the 25 “most dangerous” movies in movie history. ribbons like Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard and Dancer in the Dark de Lars von Trier or names like those of David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick o David Lynchappear (and in fact, this last one is the only one with two films in there).

These films are considered dangerous under the following premise: If you go to the movies to escape from reality, these films have the opposite effect. They are overwhelming, stressful and painful. In other words, they go against Hollywood and all that ideal factory of dreams.

Regardless of whether we agree with him meaning of “dangerous movie” (by the way, we disagree), the list always generates debates. So we will take advantage of the fact that some of their titles are available in streaming to talk about them.

‘Eraserhead’ from 1977 is ranked number 21 of the most dangerous films / Photo: Courtesy Cineteca Nacional

Natural Born Killers (1994)


Natural Born Killers Oliver Stone’s is fourth on Premiere’s Most Dangerous Movies list. The tape was surrounded by several controversies. To begin with, Quentin Tarantino, not finding the budget he was looking for to make this film, decided to sell it; and that was how it came into the hands of Oliver Stone.

Stone made many changes to the story, so many that Tarantino ended up hating the movie and asking for his name to be removed from the credits. Then came the criticism for the way of depicting violence and the sensationalist way of showing its protagonists (which, actually, was the point of Stone’s story).

Natural Born Killers focuses on Mickey and Mallory Knox, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, a pair of psychopaths who roam the country killing people and making sure everyone knows who is responsible. Thanks to the reports in the press, the community begins to feel a terrifying attraction towards them. Natural Born Killers is available on Star+ and HBO Max.

Freaks (1932)


Freaks ranks seventh on the list of dangerous movies. The controversy surrounding this 1932 film directed by Tod Browning came from all sides, and by that we mean that terrible things happened on and off the set.

Off set, the production of Freaks was a torment for the actors with various disabilities, as they were removed from the common areas to avoid the “discomfort” of “normal” people. However, the significance of this tape came on the set, with itsu history, its protagonists and the representation of cruelty, indifference, but also fraternity.

Image from 'Freaks' from 1932
Director Tod Browning with the cast of ‘Freaks’, one of Premiere’s dangerous movies / Photo: Getty Images

Freaks is situated in a circus, and has as main character Hans, a dwarf who is seduced by Cleopatraa beautiful trapeze artist who wants to kill Hans to keep his inheritance and live with her lover Hercules. Hans’s family is made up of the actors who appear in the circus sideshow; and Cleopatra always rejects them to prevent others from thinking that she might belong with them.

The interesting thing is that the freaks sThey always made a space for Cleopatra despite being “normal”. Things come to a head when Hans and Cleopatra finally get married and she starts poisoning him. Soon, Hans’s friends discover this, and take a terrible revenge against Cleopatra: they make her one of them in the most literal sense. Freaks is available on HBO Max.

Dancer in the Dark (2000)


Dancer in the Dark appears at number 8 on the list of dangerous movies. However. We cannot blame the person responsible for the enumeration of putting the Lars von Trier tape in this place. Seeing Björk fantasize while she is heading towards death is a terrible and sad thing.

In 2000, Dancer in the Dark he won the Palme d’Or, but for many it was a pretentious and at the same time manipulative exercise by the Danish filmmaker. However, von Trier knew exactly what he was doing when presenting a film as simple as it was impossible: a tale of heroines, villains, and brilliant musical numbers.

Björk could appear in the next Robert Eggers movie!
Björk as Selma Ježková in ‘Dancing in the Dark, one of the dangerous films on the list / Photo: Getty Images

Set in the 60’s Björk plays Selma, a Czech migrant in the United States who lives in a mobile home with her son. Selma has a young son who, like her, is losing his sight. The thing is that every penny that she receives from her work in the factory, he saves it to be able to operate on his son.

However, someone betrays Selma’s trust, she loses the money and it is condemned by a justice system that only looks at the surfaces of what is good for it. Dancer in the Dark It’s a complicated film, and you wouldn’t expect less from Lars von Trier, would you? If you want to keep an eye on it (it’s not a bad joke), it’s available on MUBI.

Blue Velvet (1987)


Blue Velvet by David Lynch is number 9 on Premiere Magazine’s list of dangerous movies. In fact, as we mentioned, Lynch is the only one that has two films on this list (the second is Eraserhead of 1977). But the one that occupies one of the first 10 places is Blue Velvet.

We will confess that we are a little lazy when critics say that with In a David Lynch movie there are only two options: either you love it or you hate it. This is because the media want audiences, like them, to look for an objective and absolute meaning to everything you see on the screen.

Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet
Dennis Hopper and Isabellla Rossellini in Blue Velvet, one of the dangerous movies on the list / Photo: Getty Images

What’s wrong with being left alone with the discomfort of a terrible dream sequence? why should we rationalize a nightmare? Blue Velvet is, perhaps, Lynch’s most complex nightmare, and for that reason, It is a movie that you can love for beautiful, and hate for terrifying.

Blue Velvet has as its protagonist a young man who, after the death of his father, begins to get involved in a mystery that leads him to the apartment of a singer which is related, in turn, to a violent subject. This movie is available at MGM.

Taxi Driver (1976)


Taxi Driver It occupies the tenth position on the list of dangerous films. This film is considered one of the best in Martin Scorsese’s filmography on the effects of loneliness and isolationand how each element of a place that is uninhabitable (socially speaking), feeds the obsessions of a deranged man.

The film stars Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a former Marine (Vietnam Veteran) who drives a cab around New York City. always go to Betsya beautiful woman who works in the office of a senator seeking the presidency.

Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro in ‘Taxi Driver’, one of Premiere Magazine’s dangerous movies / Photo: Columbia Pictures

At the same time he meets Iris, a minor who prostitutes herself on the streets for a pimp who makes her believe that she is his girlfriend. All this context only serves, as we said, to empower Travis’s obsessions reflected in violent thoughts.

And the man He goes from wanting to assassinate a politician (with no political reasons behind it, just the backing of violence), to becoming the savior hero of a city plunged into chaos. One of the highlights of Taxi Drivers is Bernard Herrman’s score. Is amazing. Taxi Driver is available on Netflix.

What is the complete list of “dangerous” movies?

Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard

an andalusian dog by Luis Bunuel

Romper Stomper de Geoffrey Wright

Natural Born Killers de Oliver Stone

The Lost  Weekend de Billy Wilder

Peeping Tom de Michael Powell

Freaks de Tod Browning

Dancer in the Dark de Lars Von Trier

Blue Velvet by David Lynch

Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese

The Sweet Hereafter de Atom Egoyan

Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino

Requiem fro a Dream the Darren Aronofsky

Repulsion by Roman Polanski

A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick

Once Upon a Time in the West by Sergio Leone

M de Fritz Lang

Bad Lieutenant by Abel Ferrara

Happiness by Todd Solondz

Gimme Shelter by albert maysles

Eraserhead by David Lynch

Dead Ringers by David Cronenberg

In the Company of Men de Neil Swan

Boys Don’t Cry de Kimberly Pierce

Bonnie and Clyde by Arthur Penn

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