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Lars Von Trier

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Reply #210 on: February 18, 2006, 09:14:58 PM
Because I'm pretty sure Von Trier's name is on his films.
he's only credited as writer on the idiots, not director, and that's the only dogme film he's made.
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Reply #211 on: February 19, 2006, 09:32:21 AM
Because I'm pretty sure Von Trier's name is on his films.
he's only credited as writer on the idiots, not director, and that's the only dogme film he's made.

I'm not a Dogme expert, but wasn't one of the stipulations that no director credit whatsoever was to be given under any circumstances? And then who broke it...was it Harmony Korine?

Yeah, von Trier always gets heavily associated with the Dogme movement, but he was more of a ringleader than a participant, from what I've read/seen.
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Reply #212 on: February 25, 2006, 02:43:37 PM
From the of Roger Ebert's  Manderlay review:

Footnote: Just in time to be tacked onto the end of this review, Von Trier has issued a "statement of revitality" to Variety. Ray Pride of Movie City News quotes him in part: "...I intend to reschedule my professional activities in order to rediscover my original enthusiasm for film. Over the last few years I have felt increasingly burdened by barren habits and expectations (my own and other people's) and I feel the urge to tidy up. In regards to product development this will mean more time on freer terms; i.e. projects will be allowed to undergo true development and not merely be required to meet preconceived demands. This is partly to liberate me from routine, and in particular from scriptural structures inherited from film to film ..."

The most delightful element of this statement is his assumption that his films are "required to meet preconceived demands."


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Reply #213 on: October 01, 2006, 03:47:50 PM
This is a pretty fabulous essay on the allegorical connections between "Breaking the Waves" and the bible's book "Song of Songs". I just saw this film last night for the first time and it's really lingering with me. I don't really have anything to say until I see it again, after reading this work.



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Reply #214 on: December 07, 2006, 11:15:01 AM
Von Trier unveils 'Lookey'
Director invites audiences to play mind games
Source: Variety
STOCKHOLM -- Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has unleashed his latest bit of mischief: the Lookey.

His concept is to invite the audience to play a more active role in the cinemagoing experience. Lookey is described by the helmer as a basic mind game. The movie is the board on which the game is played. The Lookey is described as a "visual disturbance," which is placed out of context in the movie.

The first Lookeys can be found in von Trier's office farce "The Boss of it All."

The first Danish moviegoer to find all the Lookeys in the pic will be rewarded with $5,360 and the opportunity to be an extra in von Trier's next film, English-language horror pic "Anti-Christ."

"Film as media has one great flaw — it's a one-way media with a passive audience. As much as I love to dictate the storyline and control the experience I still wish that the audience could take an active part," von Trier explained.
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Reply #215 on: December 07, 2006, 12:23:48 PM
Awww... he's getting old.


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Reply #216 on: May 12, 2007, 11:33:38 AM
Depression lays Danish director low

The Danish director Lars Von Trier said a period of depression has left him unable to work and he has doubts about when he will return to filmmaking.

In an interview published Saturday in the Politiken newspaper, Von Trier said the aftermath of his depression has left him "like a blank sheet of paper."

"It's very strange for me, because I've always had at least three projects in my head at one time," he said.

The filmmaker was admitted to a Danish hospital around the beginning of the year to be treated for depression. Since then, he said, he has lost focus and takes no pleasure in his work.

"You can't make a film and be depressed at the same time," he was quoted as saying. "They say that it can take a couple of years to recover after a depression. But let us see."

Von Trier, who has worked alongside actors such as Emily Watson in "Breaking the Waves" and Icelandic singer Bjork in "Dancer in the Dark," said his best and most original movie is "Dogville," which stars Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman.

Von Trier is also known for a set of filmmaking principles known as Dogma that he conceived in the mid-1990s. Meant to strip away the artifice of filmmaking by forbidding props and lighting, the Dogma rules also forbade sound editing and any equipment other than hand-held cameras.

Von Trier said he is unsure whether he will be able to begin work on a horror movie called "Antichrist" that he planned to start filming toward the middle of this year. The movie depicts Satan, rather than God, as the world's creator.

"I assume that 'Antichrist' will be my next movie. But right now I don't know," he said.
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Reply #217 on: May 20, 2007, 03:32:46 AM
Not more depressed than when he was 7 years old, according to the co-owner of Zentropa :-) Here ans article on ScreenDaily saying that he will make more films :


Zentropa expands beyond  Danish homeland
Geoffrey Macnab in Cannes
19 May 2007 04:26

Denmark’s flagship film company Zentropa is cutting many ties to its homeland with founder Lars Von Trier in talks to shift his next film abroad.

In Cannes, company boss Peter Aalbeck Jensen told Screen that the company he and Von Trier founded it will be opening further facilities in Sweden where it has long been supported by regional fund Film I Vast.

Zentropa is also in advanced negotiations with a regional fund to set up Von Trier’s planned English-language horror film Antichrist in Germany.

“The financing systems in Sweden and Germany are much better. There is no reason for us to be with so much activity in Denmark,” Aalbeck Jensen commented.

The Zentropa boss acknowledged that the Danish Government provides strong support of the Danish film industry. “But it is not geared to a company like us. It is geared to a smaller two or three person company.”

Trust Film Sales will remain at Zentropa’s base at Filmbyen in Copenhagen.

Danish Film Institute chief executive Henning Camre was striking a phlegmatic note about Zentropa’s plans to leave Denmark. “They are pretty European in their thinking,’ he said. “I don’t see it as a problem. It is a more healthy way to attract co-productions.”

Meanwhile, Jensen dismissed recent reports in the Danish press that Von Trier has been left unable to work by depression.

“He (Von Trier) has been depressed since he was seven years old. He is always depressed between two films. I was having a dinner with him Saturday where I promise you he was alive and kicking.”

The Zentropa boss suggested that Von Trier was unlikely to complete the trilogy begun with Dogville and Manderlay. However, he predicted that Antichrist will be as provocative as any of Von Trier’s films and that “it will probably make a riot down here in the Croisette, like always.”

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Reply #218 on: May 23, 2007, 09:32:12 PM

Lars von Trier, the enfant terrible of world cinema, is always looking for the next thing to surprise or wrongfoot audiences. He made only three features in the first decade of his career, and though The Element of Crime (1984), Epidemic (1987), and Zentropa (1991) were all critical successes that ably demonstrated von Trier's cinematic gifts, it is since then that he has truly excelled. In this period, not only has he founded the revolutionary Dogme 95 movement, but completed the Gold Hearted trilogy – made up of Breaking the Waves (1996), The Idiots (1998) and Dancer in the Dancer (2000) – and made the first two parts of his American trilogy, Dogville (2003) and Manderlay (2005). All of these have been provocative, emotionally intense and technically innovative movies, cinema which has challenged the norm and polarized opinion. Though hailed as one of the saviors of modern cinema, von Trier often seems more comfortable in his self-assigned role as villain, and reports of brutal, bullying treatment of his leading ladies (Björk and Nicole Kidman, in particular) have only compounded this image.

All of this makes The Boss of It All, his latest film, all the more surprising. Though flashes were visible in The Idiots, this is the first time we see von Trier's subversive, almost zany, sense of humor really come to the fore. Ravn (Peter Ganzler), the head of an IT firm, has always told his staff that there was a mysterious, absent boss so that when difficult decisions needed to be made, he could put the blame on someone else. However when he wants to sell the company, he is required to get this shadowy CEO to appear and sign away the firm, and must get an unemployed actor, Stoffer (Jens Albinus), to play what becomes the role of a lifetime. The film deals with sex, power, and manipulation – all trademark von Trier themes – and is shot with Automavision, an innovation in which the camera angles, movements, etc. are selected by a computer, yet The Boss of It All is first and foremost a playful, affectionate and riotously funny film about office politics.

Filmmaker (Magazine) spoke to von Trier about the recent reports of depression crippling his creativity, classic Hollywood comedies, and killing film critics with a hammer.


Filmmaker: A story broke about 10 days ago that you were suffering from depression.

von Trier: I have had a depression for the first time in my life, which was kind of strange, but I'm coming out now. I'm on my way, but it seems it takes some time before you're really back into [it]. I've always done 10 things at the same time, but now it takes some time to get the fascination back for a project. It will come, and it is coming, but slowly.

Filmmaker: So is your next project, Antichrist, still going to happen?

von Trier: Oh, yes, Antichrist, I'm working on it. It just takes, instead of one day, two days to get a good idea. But I think I have to accept that as part of life.

Filmmaker: It's like working at a normal pace, rather than your usual pace.

von Trier: I'm trying to be a normal person. I'm working on it. I feel good, but I just need more time to write a script. I think I wrote the script for The Idiots in four days, so now it will be four months.

Filmmaker: How did you react to this story about your depression blowing up into something so big?

von Trier: I think that my problem is that whenever I talk to a journalist it's difficult for me to have an agenda, and also if he asks me, “How are you?”, then I have to tell him, “Well, I had this depression...” This is what I'd tell any person. I've done that with my anxieties too, I've talked about them, which of course must be tiresome for a reader or a journalist, but that's the way I deal with things. I tell people how things really are. I think maybe the fact that I allow myself to tell anybody that I had a depression is maybe what causes the mistake that the story will always be blown up. I'm not especially interested that anybody should write about how I am, but doing an interview is like talking to a person, and then I tell [them] how things are. It's difficult for me not to do that, but maybe stupid. I don't know.

Filmmaker: It seems ironic that your depression came just after you'd finished The Boss of It All, which is probably the happiest and most upbeat film you've ever made.

von Trier: Yeah, you don't know why these things happen. I have a theory that at a certain point, when you're fainting, that is when the body has enough. You faint, and then you kind of have a time out for the body to readjust. I think that it's maybe a little bit the same with the anxiety, when it comes to a point where it's too much. I think the depression comes in and kind of claims a couple of months. You know, what I found out is that you can't be depressed and have anxiety at the same time, it's either or. I talked to a lot of people after this who have had depression, and they all agreed that it takes some time, even if you're out of it and you're much happier – and I'm happy for many things – for the focus to come back. They actually say it takes about double the time of the depression. I had three months of depression, so it will take six months. Well, I can enjoy my freedom for another month!

Filmmaker: I think people are surprised by The Boss of It All, because it's not what they expect from a Lars von Trier film. But do you feel like it's radically different from your previous films?

von Trier: I think it's quite close to some of the stuff we worked with in The Kingdom [von Trier's surreal 90s hospital TV show], but my aim for this film was to do The Shop Around the Corner. Or something like that, a light thing that should be very simple in the structure but hopefully should still have some of the qualities that The Shop Around the Corner has. I'm not talking about sentimentality so much, I'm talking about a certain kind of comedy mood that you will find also in The Philadelphia Story, or films like that.

Filmmaker: It's the most traditional film you've ever made.

von Trier: Yeah, yeah, but that's because it is some kind of a homage to these films. Especially the ones that are not sort of corny, so you say “Ha, ha, ha!” all the time, but just is carried by a story and a mood, which I like very much. Also Bringing Up Baby I remember, and The Odd Couple was also fantastic - but that was maybe more ha-ha. There are actually some of these films that are kind of moody, but still funny so you laugh all the time.

Filmmaker: I don't think those would be films that people would expect you to like.

von Trier: But it is films like that that I will see again and again. It's like hearing pop music. We were taught in film school that The Shop Around the Corner was the best film in the world. So, I listened a little!

Filmmaker: You have Jean-Marc Barr and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, both of whom are directors, acting in this film, and you gave Jørgen Leth filmmaking tasks for The Five Obstructions. Do you particularly like directing directors?

von Trier: [laughs] Jean-Marc was there because he's always there, only to come up and say hello. He's the godfather of my two boys. Fridrik is just a crazy guy that everybody when they read the script said he [the grim Icelandic businessman] should look like him. I don't think he really has acted before, not very much. I think he's very Icelandic, very authentic. It's actually very far from his own personality to shout, because he's always very funny and most of the time very drunk at festivals. But he actually had to work a lot to find out how to yell. I don't think he'd ever tried it.

Filmmaker: You've said before that “A film should be like a rock in the shoe", but this doesn't really feel like that.

von Trier: No. So maybe it's not a film. It's a tiny rock, if it is. But I still tried with the images to destroy somehow for everybody.

Filmmaker: Where did the idea for Automavision come from, and how easy was it to implement?

von Trier: Earlier in my career, I worked with a lot of very complicated tracking and craning, and at a certain point I had enough of that. If you are a perfectionist, which we all are at some point, then you have go on and do this better and better and better, but you can never control it. You can get 70% of your idea, you can get 80, you can get close to 100, but you can't really say “This is it.” So I was so happy when the trend said it should be handheld camera, because that suited me very well. Here the only principle I use, especially when I film myself, is that I just point the camera in the direction of where something interesting is happening. After doing all this framing, I was very anti-framing for a long time. And then I found out that this computer system could help me not to frame, even though I had a fixed camera.

Filmmaker: I think you stop noticing the odd framing very early on, and it just becomes part of the film.

von Trier: I think what surprises me in a positive way is that you actually see the film differently because you have to look for the [characters]. In a normal film, you will know exactly where the next person would be in the frame because you know all these framing rules. Here you actually have to look around; it might take a split second, but you still have to work a little harder.

Filmmaker: It's a little like your set in Dogville, where the viewer has to imagine the town. You seem to like pushing the viewer that bit further.

von Trier: Yeah, but not just to push somebody. I think that there's potential in the viewer that we very often do not challenge or do not use at all. I think that there could be people that see wonderful mountains in Dogville, much more wonderful than I could ever produce. I'm not saying that's something that happened in Dogville, but the technique of using the spectator's mind much, much more is something in films that we are doing very, very little of today.

Filmmaker: What do you think of the state of America at the moment? You say you're 60% American, so does this mean you might finally go there?

von Trier: [laughs] I can't do that because I don't fly, or sail, but I would love to go to America. There are a lot of places that I'd love to visit. Isn't there somewhere where you can go over the ice, from Asia or something like that?

Filmmaker: Maybe you could make a Werner Herzog-style documentary about taking that journey!

von Trier: Oh, yes, Werner Herzog. But he's not afraid of flying. I talked to him a couple of times, and he wants to be in [one of my films]. So maybe I can have another director to direct. I was a big fan of his, especially his earlier films that he made in Germany. They were really very inspiring to me.

Filmmaker: Can you tell me about your contribution to the film Chacun Son Cinéma, which is commemorating the 60 years of the Cannes film festival?

von Trier: It's just a little joke. It's the opening of Manderlay in Cannes, and I'm sitting next to this guy who's writing for a tiny fictitious French paper called 'On the Sunny Side,' and he's writing a review on the film, and he's obviously bored. Then he tells me about all the cars he owns, and how rich he is, and all these things. It's called Occupations, the film. So, at a certain point, he says, “So what do you do?” Then I take out this very strange hammer we have in the Danish building business, and I say, “I kill.” And then I kill him. It is as stupid as it sounds.

Filmmaker: If you could travel back in time and be able to make movies in a time and place of your choice, where and when would it be?

von Trier: It would probably be in the Soviet Union, back in the time when Tarkovsky made films. That is for me a very romantic period, even though I know it was painful for the people there. Somehow when I see The Mirror by Tarkovsky, I dream of the studios and the colors and the depression.

Filmmaker: When was the last time you burst into tears on set?

von Trier: Bryce Dallas Howard [in Manderlay] was incredible at crying, she had a fantastic technique to cry. You could start her crying and stop her crying. That was not me crying, but it was incredible. I've never seen anything like it. I've actually worked with a lot of actresses who are good at crying, but this was so fantastic. She was really a cryer. But I probably cried from anger with Björk, I'm sure. Yeah, I remember that I cried one time – I just gave up completely. I said to her, “You win.” I don't know what that meant, but probably that the film would be off.

Filmmaker: Finally, who's the most famous person in your cell phone?

von Trier: I believe it's Nicole [Kidman], actually.

Filmmaker: Do you speak a lot?

von Trier: No, but I write her some emails sometimes. It's probably not her phone number anymore, and she doesn't appear as "Nicole Kidman."

Filmmaker: So if it's stolen, it'd still be OK.

von Trier: Yeah, I think so. Or else I think I would get a hell of time explaining to her!

Source: http://filmmakermagazine.com/directorinterviews/2007/05/lars-von-trier-boss-of-it-all.php


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Reply #219 on: May 24, 2007, 10:40:19 AM
New Opera to Be Based on Von Trier Film

Denmark's Royal Theater has commissioned a new opera based on Lars von Trier's 2000 film, "Dancer in the Dark."

Poul Ruders, a leading Danish composer, will write the music for the work, while the libretto, in English, will be written by Henrik Engelbrecht, head of dramaturgy at the theater.

Swedish soprano Ylva Kihlberg is set to sing the role of leading character Selma when the opera premieres during the 2010-2011 season, the theater announced Thursday.
Von Trier's movie, which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, starred Bjork and Catherine Deneuve.

Bjork played the role of a Czech immigrant factory worker in the United States who becomes blind because of a congenital disease and tries to save money for an operation to avoid the same fate for her 12-year-old son.

Von Trier also directed "Breaking the Waves" and "Dogville."

He said in a recent interview that a period of depression had left him unable to work, and he expressed doubts about when he will return to filmmaking.
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Reply #220 on: January 20, 2009, 10:03:29 PM

I just saw Europa and its fantastic. The color sequences intercut with the black and white makes it surprising and quite a dazzling film. A film that I will have to buy. I'm not sure if this is part of a trilogy or not but if it is I want to see the other two. The only other Von trier films I've seen are 'breaking the waves', 'dogville' and 'dancer in the dark' even though I own 'manderlay' and still need to see it.

Anyway, back to Europa. This film takes place right after the second world war and a atheistic pacifist from america decides to make a difference by wanting to spread peace throughout Germany. He works as a railroad train worker and is getting paid for it. He got the job from his uncle who-in a shot of kindness (the uncle is a real bastard)-he decides to help out his nephew. The uncle is also a railroad train worker and when this young man decides to help out and get involved with a family that owns the company that owns the railroad it back fires when a group takes advantage of his good natured aura about him. Needless to say, over time, he sees the manipulation, by the renagade group that are taking a stand against the allied forces and by a woman who is the daughter (which he falls in love with) of the big company. Well, I don't want to spoil anymore but the story ends badly for the american.

See it!!! Or not, I don't care.
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Reply #221 on: January 21, 2009, 01:18:34 AM
Yeah, Europa has always been my favorite of his films. This was reaffirmed by Criterion's release last month - exceptional disc for an exceptional film. I love that it's such a seductive film, immersing you into it's rhythm and wholly unique cinematic rhythm - only to then deconstruct it.

Like most of von Trier's films, it loves the language of film, and is indebited to it, while still being completely antagonistic to it. That's kind of a vague declaration, but I'm too tired to expound on it. In that regard, I really think it is his most successful effort.

I'm not sure if this is part of a trilogy or not

It is - in a way. See: Epidemic and Element of Crime
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Reply #222 on: January 21, 2009, 05:46:00 AM

I'm not sure if this is part of a trilogy or not

It is - in a way. See: Epidemic and Element of Crime
Thought it was those two...see ya soon for more reviews.
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Reply #223 on: January 24, 2009, 06:56:53 PM
Epidemic is possibly one of the scariest films I have seen in my life. Perhaps because of the subject matter or perhaps it was all in black and white. I got chills throughout the whole film. This is the first time in a long while that I was freaked out by a film.

The two film makers seemed really mean when it came to the subject of the teenagers from atlantic city....

The above taken out of context could sound a little strange.
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Reply #224 on: October 09, 2009, 11:03:56 AM
Lars von Trier goes from gore to Sci-Fi
Danish director to shoot "Planet Melancholia"
Source: Hollywood Reporter

COLOGNE, Germany -- After "Antichrist," his art house mash up of the slasher horror genre, Danish director Lars von Trier is moving into Roland Emmerich territory with his next project -- a psychological disaster film titled "Planet Melancholia."

Lars von Trier will write and direct the €5 million ($7.4 million) English-language feature. Shooting and post-production will take place next summer in Germany and Sweden. Von Trier's Zentropa will produce "Planet Melancholia" with the director's regular financial partners, which include Filmstiftung NRW, the Swiss and Danish film institutes and European broadcasters Arte, Canal Plus, SVT and DR expected to pony up financing.

TrustNordisk will be pre-selling the title at the European Film Market in Berlin in February.

Producers are Zentropa's Meta Louise Foldager ("Antichrist") and Louise Vesth, a line producer on von Trier's "Manderlay" (2005). The company is targeting a release for Cannes 2011.

Von Trier and business partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen of Zentropa were typically coy in revealing the plot of the new film.

"No more happy endings!" was von Trier's only comment, a description that would fit all of his work.

Jensen has promised a mix of spectacular, cinematic imagery with Dogme-style handheld camerawork -- a combination seen in "Antichrist." Referring to a cringe-inducing scene in that film, Jensen, however, said he hoped no genitals would be cut off in "Planet Melancholia."

Instead, Jensen said the new film would be "romantic, in a Lord Byron sort of way."
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