Director – Lars von Trier – 1998 – Denmark – Cert. 18 – 117m
A woman joins a community of free-spirited, self-designated ‘spassers’ – people who pretend to be mentally handicapped in order to free their ‘inner idiot’ – back out in UK cinemas on Friday, Aug 18th
After he had wowed the film world with Breaking The Waves (1996), von Trier in company with fellow Danish director Thomas Vinterberg set out the film making manifesto Dogme 95 and an accompanying ‘vow of chastity’ in an attempt to throw off the constraints and limitations with which conventional, commercial film production had become encumbered. The manifesto itself was a set of rules, or, if you will, constraints, aimed at freeing up filmmaking practice for the purposes of creativity. These included the direct recording of sound, shooting only in the Academy 35mm format, no set building or augmenting sound or image in post-production but only using locations, and no director’s credit. The vow of chastity eschewed good taste along with the idea of the ‘artist’ and their ‘work’ in favour of “forcing the truth out of characters”.
Some 35 films were shot and ratified under this manifesto between 1998 and 2005.… Read the rest