ABSTRACT

This chapter presents psychological perspectives on Melancholia, the film by director Lars von Trier that was released in 2011. Beginning with a traditional Freudian view of depression and mourning, the chapter moves through Jungian and Bionian ideas of “catastrophic change” to Giegerich’s ideas of the loss of meaning for the modern person. Each character in the film is viewed as a different aspect of one psyche that responds to a catastrophic change in different ways. The music of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde also plays a powerful role in the film.