De fem benspænd

The Five Obstructions
DK 2003, R: Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier, OmU, 90’

The German Historical Museum in Berlin has a movie theater - a rather brilliant one at that. Lots of leg room (but uncomfortably cushion seats), only 5 Euros a shot and no advertising. Of course, they aren't showing the newest Disney blockbuster, but all sorts of historical or arty films.

This is an *arty* arty film. The Danish filmmaker I can't stand, Lars von Trier, commands the older, well-known Jørgen Leth to recreate one of his first films, The Perfect Human (1967) - but with different obstructions each time. von Trier is his normal, sadistic self, pushing Leth further and further. Leth, master film-maker that his is, arises to each of the challenges.

The first is done in a country he has never been in, the second in a red-light district in Bombay, filming him eating while a crowd of hungry Indians is held back by a transparent screen. The third is done in Brüssels in split-screen, for the fourth he has to make it an animation - something both he and von Trier hate - and in the fifth he has to make the movie to the tape of him (Leth) reading a text that von Trier wrote. He may only read once, without practice.

Leth is an observer. The details are so important to every frame of this documentary (for which Leth is also the director). And the sadistic twists added by von Trier - for examlpe, Leth acting in a film about him directing a film about himself recreating a film he previously did - just boggle the mind.

I liked the film - but I still don't like von Trier.

1 comment:

WiseWoman said...

Now we have the DVD, watched it again with friends. Their comment: "von Trier can't be that much of an egoistical maniac, can he?".

Yes he can. And this film can be watched multiple times.

The DVD has a copy of the original film on it as well.