First in a series of Cannes Film Festival memories, posted at random: 20 years ago the first-anywhere screening of Lars von Trier‘s Dancer in the Dark happened in the Grand Lumiere. The date was 5.17.00. I was sitting in the balcony. The lights went down about halfway, and Bjork’s overture began to play. The music and the moment — I knew something exceptional was about to happen. I could feel it.

I saw Dancer two or three times in the States a few months later, but the overture was either ignored or the effect wasn’t the same. You had to be there. I’ll never forget that feeling, that vibe, that premonition. A slight lump in my throat. Honestly? I just choked up as I listened for the second time.