Both the deferred recurrence of post-traumatic symptoms and the foresight granted by prophetic vision bring about a disruption of temporality and generate a chronological discontinuity which is often formally rendered as narrative discontinuity. This similarity produces an interpretive ambiguity that is central to the films, Melancholia (2011) by Von Trier and Arrival (2016) by Denis Villeneuve. Both movies begin by hinting at the post-traumatic origin of visions and then gradually shift towards a prophetic explanation. In addressing these two case studies, this article approaches prophecy and its temporality from a narratological perspective, integrating the critical parameters of trauma-theory with the contribution of Agamben’s concept of “Messianic time” and of Mahayana Buddhism.
"The Moving Image and the Time of Prophecy: Trauma and Precognition in L. Von Trier’s Melancholia (2011) and D. Villeneuve’s Arrival (2016),"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 24:
1, Article 56.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol24/iss1/56