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"I think that quite a lot of people who are into music are not very good in social situations," Bjork suggests. "Music is like a rescue thing." 

It is, perhaps, that viewpoint that aligned her so closely with Selma, the primary character in DANCER IN THE DARK, in which Bjork claims her first major starring film role while providing the picture's soundtrack. Bjork, noted for her adventurous combinations of mechanized instrumentation and pop music structures, has taken movie roles before, with smaller appearances in Pret-A-Porter, The Juniper and Glerbrot. But the more substantial role in Dancer required some prodding from writer/director Lars von Trier. 

She has, she says, no acting ambitions, preferring to make her artistic statements through music. ""I knew when I said yes that this would be not only my first role but also my last one. I'm very happy that it's to be this one." Asked whether she might one day reconsider, she said, "I have to do records now. I only have 50 years left, and I've got a lot of records to make." Yet, she was spellbound by the story of Selma, a single mother in the 1960's, struggling to come up with the money to get an operation for her 10-year-old son, who is otherwise doomed to blindness by a congenital disease. Selma, a Czech immigrant with aspirations to dance, is already losing her sight from the same disease. "I feel for this girl, and I feel for the songs, and I am going to fight for them with my life," says Bjork. 

Her battle on behalf of the character paid off when she was named the Best Female Actress at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. 

If Selma's character-a poorly sighted, dancer wannabe struggling to right a hereditary wrong-is an unusual one, it fits Bjork, whose musical expression is just as unusual. Classically trained in flute and 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 9 - September 8576
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