fuck Ebert and Roeper... I have little respect for both. Well, not true... I like reading Ebert's Great Movies essays. Roeper on the other hand has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Dogville...anti American... wow, what a revelation. I knew when I saw this last year that it was going to be HATED in the US for that very fact. And yes, it's anti-American. Blatantly at that. Lars isn't shy about it either. During a press conference he said he sees a lot of shit going on in America. So what? How does that effect the work as a whole? If Ebert and Roeper and others who will be offended or unsettled by the anti-American nature of the film, that's on them. The film has so much to offer but if they want to get stuck on that, that's fine. I personally found the anti-american-ness thought provoking and very resonant in terms of truth... I felt that von Trier was simply holding up a mirror to the country as well as being an unflichingly pessimistic view of humanity that almost felt Orwellian. It may be a mirror that only shows the negative but it's a powerful reminder of the state of things... or that's what I thought at least. Then they go on to say that they've seen somewhat anti-American films that they actually liked but did they name one? As I said, fuck them. They lick so much public ass it's ridiculous.
The manipulative nature of Lars von Trier's films is nothing new... it's what he does. But there's an undeniable integrity behind von Trier's sadistic insanity, and I find his films, albeit brutal and emotionally pornographic, very endearing. Again I think it has a lot to do with where the filmmaker is coming from and I've never had a problem with him thus far... actually everything I've seen from Lars von Trier I adore, The Idiots being my favorite. I dont know, Lars von Trier's films have always been love-or-hate and I'm not surprised by the reactions towards Dogville... I personally love it. Stylistically it's one of the most interesting films I've ever seen... I was totally into the theatrical aspect of the film and was completely and utterly fascinated. It was refreshing to see a film where the storytelling is as basic as it is in Dogville. I love John Hurt's narrations, the chapter stops.. it creates this safe, comfortable environment of having stories read to you before going to bed as a kid, only this bedtime story leads you into a realm of that will probably have you feeling shitty by the end. Maybe I'm going too deep into it but there's a quality about Dogville that sucked me in and spat me out completely shooken up and ecstatic about what was achieved. I hear people bring up the pacing as a negative but I never found the film to be dull or slow at any point.
Lars von Trier is cinema's best friends, as he is constantly reinventing himself and opening new doors. In terms of technology goes he's the absolute best. His use of it in his films is exactly how it should be done... sparingly and intelligently. It's never superfluous or serves any other purpose than to further his vision. He's one of the true visionaries of the new breed of filmmakers (or the 90s new breed, anyway) and can't wait till S (which I think is Manderlay) and A of the USA trilogy come out.