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Danish Cinema and Dogma-95. Dogma-95 Idea The Dogma Brethren Production Context Lars von Trier Dogma’s New Wave: The First The “Manifesto” and the “Vow of Chastity” The Celebration (1998) The Idiots (1998) The Second Wave of Dogma: Beyond the Brethren

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Danish Cinema and Dogma-95

  • Dogma-95 Idea

    • The Dogma Brethren

    • Production Context

    • Lars von Trier

  • Dogma’s New Wave: The First

    • The “Manifesto” and the “Vow of Chastity”

    • The Celebration (1998)

    • The Idiots (1998)

  • The Second Wave of Dogma: Beyond the Brethren

    • Young Danish Directors taken under von Trier’s wing

    • Italian for Beginners (2000)

  • Third Wave: International Dogma Production

  • Fourth Wave: Films Inspired by Dogma

  • After Dogma


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The Dogma Brethren

  • Danish Film School

  • Von Trier’s “Provocations”

    • Von Trier’s role in Danish Film

    • Revising cinematic convention

      • Element of Crime (1984)

      • The Kingdom (1994)

  • Lars von Trier as leader provocateur

    • Zentropa Productions est. 1994

    • Film Town, Avedøre est. 1999

  • Announcement of Dogma, 1995

  • Dogma Brethren

    • Lars von Trier

    • Thomas Vinterberg

    • Søren Kragh-Jacobsen

    • Kristian Levring

  • Dogma #1-4

    • The Celebration (1998, Festen)

    • The Idiots (1998, Idioterne)

    • Mifune (1999, Mifunes sidste sang)

    • The King is Alive (2000)

Lars von Trier (1956- )

Thomas Vinterberg (1968- )


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Lars von Trier and Dogma 95

  • Lars Von Trier (1956-

    • Danish Film School record

    • Personal life

    • Zentropa Entertainments (est. 1993)

  • Dogma 95 as a project has its source in von Trier’s methods and style

  • Themes

    • Tributes

    • Expressionism

    • Emotional provocation

  • Trilogies

    • Art film trilogy

      • Element of Crime (‘84), Epidemic (‘87), Europa (‘91)

    • Golden Heart trilogy

      • Breaking the Waves (‘96), Idiots ‘98), Dancer in the Dark (‘00)

    • USA trilogy

      • Dogville (‘03), Manderlay (‘05), Wasington (‘07)

  • Formal focus

    • Formal means vary to suit narrative material

    • Revision of genre

    • Dogma 95

  • Experiments leading to Dogma 95

    • The Kingdom (1994)

    • Breaking the Waves (1996)

Lars von Trier

Trier and Vinterberg


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The Kingdom (1994, Riget)

  • Sources

    • Belphégor (1960s)on Louvre’s Egyptology wing

    • Twin Peaks (1990-92)

  • Soap Opera

    • Semantics

      • Hospital setting

      • Characters as professionals

    • Syntax

      • Professional rivalries

      • Romantic interests

    • Scientific basis for plots

  • Formal aspects

    • Directorial freedom through TV financing

    • Casting

    • Handheld 16 mm cameras

    • Improvisational acting

  • Reception

    • Huge Danish Television Hit

    • Von Trier vaults to new notoriety

    • Genre revision as a means of access to audience

Romantic subplot: Helmer (Ernst Hugo Järgård) and Rigmor (Ghita Nørby)

Ghost story: Sigrid Drusse (Kirsten Rolffes)


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Breaking the Waves (1996)

  • Long-term project

    • $10 budget

    • DFI financing

    • EU financing

    • No Hollywood funding

  • Sources

    • Justine, Marquis de Sade

    • Guld Hjerte (Golden Hearted)

  • Formal aspects

    • Dogma-like experimentation

    • Steady-cam shots

    • Digital effects

    • From technique to character

  • Erotic Melodrama

    • Bess and Jan’s sexual relationship

    • Deeply sentimental film

    • Naturalist acting mitigates sentimentality

  • International breakthrough for LvT

Jan (Stellan Skarsgård) and Bess (Emily Watson) happily married

Distraught Bess refuses to let Jan return to his job on an oil rig


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Dogma Production Context

  • Ministry of Culture Commitment

    • Minister of Culture Jytte Hilden’s promise to Lars von Trier, 1995

    • 15 million crowns for four films

    • Accusations of special treatment

    • Appropriation directed to DFI and consultant system

    • Brethren refuse to apply to DFI for Dogma money

  • Restructuring of Funding strategy for Dogma

    • Agreement with Danish Broadcasting (DR)

      • Bjørn Erichsen

      • “Public service”

    • Co-production and distribution agreements with Nordic public television companies

    • Zentropa productions (von Trier’s company) as producer

DR’s Bjørn Erichsen


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The “Manifesto” and the “Vow”

  • What is a manifesto?

    • “A public declaration, usually of political, religious, philosophical or literary principles and beliefs”

    • Typical of modernist, avant-garde art movements

  • Aims of the manifesto?

    • Seriousness

    • Irony

    • Provocative mode of self-aware public definition

      • Aesthetic

      • Public relations dimensions

  • The Vow of Chastity

    • Limiting filmmaker’s options as a source of novelty

    • Stripping film of organizing structures

      • Hollywood narrative illusion

      • Auteur cinema intention

    • Realist recovery of cinema?

    • Emotional access

Certified Dogma, The Celebration (1998)


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Danish Dogma Films:Dogma #1,The Celebration (1998)

  • Thomas Vinterberg Director

  • Mogens Rukov, collaborating screenwriter

  • Tight unity of place and action

  • “Acting out” in a traditional, if shocking, drama

  • Resonance with Scandinavian theater tradition

  • Film’s mysterious sources

Christian ejected from his father’s birthday in The Celebration


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Idioterne (The Idiots, 1998)

  • Dogma #2

  • A group of dissenters

    • French new wave style

    • Opportunity to create ‘authenticity’

  • Transgression

    • Form

    • Content

  • Trieresque fixations

    • Redeeming woman

    • Disability as insight

    • Melodramatic struggle

  • Von Trier’s expressionism?

The group at Søllerud

Karen ‘spassing’


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Second Wave: Beyond the Brethren

  • Dogme # 12: Italian for Beginners (Italiensk For Begyndere Lone Scherfig, 2000)

  • Dogme # 18: Truly Human (Et Rigtigt Menneske, Åke Sandgren, 2001)

    • Swedish filmmaker trained in Denmark

    • Challenging middle-class conventions

  • Dogme # 21: Kira’s Reason (En Kærlighedshistorie, Ole Christian Madsen, 2001)

    • Rising name in Danish cinema

    • Gritty look at mental illness

  • Dogme #28: Open Hearts (Elsker Dig For Evigt Susanne Bier, 2002)

    • Susanne Bier

    • 9/11 connection

    • Melodrama

    • Popular appeal

Kira’s Reason (2002)

Open Hearts (2002)


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Danish Dogma Films:Italian for Beginners (2000)

  • Director Lone Scherfig

    • Director of Morten Korch TV melodramas for Zentropa

    • First non-brethren film

  • Dogma emphasis

    • Collaboration with actors

    • Digital video intimacy

    • Emotionally raw film

  • Dogma variations

    • Clearly plotted

    • Steady camera

    • Lack of close-ups

    • Romantic Comedy

    • Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

  • Biggest Dogma success

  • “Second Generation”

Dogma in Church

Romantic Confusions


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The Third Wave: International Dogma Film

  • Non-Danish films to receive Dogma certification, prior to June, 2002

    • Dogme # 6: Julien Donkey-Boy (Harmony Korine, USA, 1999)

    • Dogme # 7: Interview (Daniel H. Byun, Korea)

    • Dogme #31: El Desenlace (Juan Pinzas, Spain)

  • Dogma’s “Brand Logic”

    • A New Danish Wave?

    • A Cheap Way to Make Questionable Films?

Harmony Korinr and Werner Herzog on the set of Julien Donkey-Boy (1999)


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Wave Four: Dogma Inspiration

  • Distribution of Dogma Cinema in the US

    • Blockbuster and boutique

      • Universal Studios

      • USA Films and October films

    • Boutique aesthetics and profits

      • sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

      • Life is Beautiful (1997)

      • My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

  • US distribution and Dogma

  • Dogma-Inspired Films

    • Traffic (2000, Stephen Soderbergh)

    • Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001)

    • Full Frontal (2002, Stephen Soderbergh)

      • “All sets are practical locations”

      • “You will drive yourself to the set”

      • “You will create and maintain your hair and make-up”

Lush drug life in Traffic, 2000

Gritty drug life in Traffic, 2000


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Trier’s Rejection of Dogma: The America Trilogy

  • America Trilogy

    • Dogville (2003)

    • Manderlay (2005)

    • Wasington (2007)

  • Sources

    • Brecht’s “Pirate Jenny”

    • Narratives of Hollywood-style vengeance and justice

    • 1970s BBC Nicholas Nickelby production

  • Von Trier’s problem

    • Aesthetic vision

    • Melodramatic passion

    • Political consequences

Nicole Kidman as Grace

Stage set outlined in chalk


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Conclusion

  • Dogma as a Danish phenomenon

    • Challenge to funding conventions

    • Lars von Trier’s provocation

  • Dogma as a globalized cinema convention

    • ‘Open source code’

    • Under the radar digital cinema

    • “Gritty, indie cinema”

  • What’s the future of Dogma?


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