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Dogme Uncut: Lars Von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, and the Gang That Took on Hollywoodby Jack Stevenson
Synopses & Reviews
In 1995, Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville) and three fellow Danish directors swore allegiance to a vow of chastity” aimed at jolting filmmakers around the world who had become stuck in the mire of slick, emotionally manipulative, high-concept, and bombastic movie productions. They named their philosophy Dogme95,” and its tenets demanded a return to the basic core of filmmaking: the use of natural lighting and a hand-held camera, and the refusal to use special effects, a soundtrack of any kind (only natural sounds found on location were acceptable), and movie sets (all shooting was to take place on location).
Like the French New Wave and 1960s American Underground film movements, Dogme had a profound affect on filmmaking around the world, including the sacred cow known as Hollywood.” In part because of the proliferation of relatively inexpensive digital cameras and technology, the movement resonated with young and independent filmmakers, creating a surge in back-to-the-basics, guerilla filmmaking. It also had a profound influence on everything from Hollywood filmmakers to dance choreographers to computer game manufacturers.
The list of films and filmmakers to come out of the Dogme movement reads like a whos who of art-house cinema from the late-1990s and early-2000s: the aforementioned Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), Harmony Korine (Julien Donkey-Boy), Lone Scherfig (Italian for Beginners), and Susanne Bier (Open Hearts), among many others.
Dogme Uncut is written by film journalist and historian Jack Stevenson, who, while living in Demark for the past decade, has had a true insiders view of the Dogme movement from its conception to its early triumphs to its current incarnation. With a good deal of humor and fascinating insights, Stevenson brings a mixture of history, analysis, and reportage to bear on the eight-year-old film movement, examining the subject from multiple perspectives. Dogmes debt to previous film waves” is explored, as is the impact Dogme itself has had on current trends in cinema and on todays young filmmakers. Penned in a lively, accessible, and jargon-free style, Dogme Uncut is a richly illustrated survey of the entire Dogme canon that is both entertaining and hugely informative.
A lively, richly illustrative survey of the entire Dogme movie concept.
Written with humor and insight, this mixture of history, analysis, and reportage sheds fascinating insider light on the eight-year-old Dogme film movement, examining the subject from multiple perspectives. Covered in detail is Dogme's genesis, when, in 1995, Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, acclaimed director of Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark, and three fellow Danish directors swore to reject the norm of slick, emotionally manipulative, high-concept, and bombastic movie productions. Explained is the Dogme95 philosophy, which entails a return to basic filmmaking through the use of natural lighting and handheld cameras, and the refusal to use special effects, soundtracks, and movie sets. The films and filmmakers of the Dogme movement are discussed, including Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), Harmony Korine (Julien Donkey-Boy), Lone Scherfig (Italian for Beginners), and Susanne Bier (Open Hearts). Dogme's debt to previous film waves is explored, as is the impact Dogme has had on current trends in cinema and on today's young filmmakers.
About the Author
Jack Stevenson is the author of Land of a Thousand Balconies, Lars von Trier, and Addicted: The Myth & Menace of Drugs in Film. He has been published in Film Quarterly and The Big Reel, with his texts translated into nine languages. He has organized shows for filmmakers in San Francisco and run a film series at the Danish National Film Museum. He lives in Aller
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