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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dame un Lars con Trier, por favor

He won me over with Dogville, and "Five Obstructions" (co-directed with Jørgen Leth) further validates him in my mind.

Where does art come from?

What is its essence?

How do we define it?

What makes good art?

"Five Obstructions" explores this highly subjective terrain. The premise is this: Leth has to remake one of his own short movies, "The Perfect Human". The catch: he has to do it five times, each time with different arbitrary obstructions (rules) put forth by Lars. They range from having scenes limited to no more than 12 frames per second, to making the "worst film possible".

On a superficial level it seems like Lars is enjoying a sadistic little prank; but, what he actually does is make you think about the origins of "good" art, and how, despite limitations (socioeconomic, political, for example), a genuine artist will create.

In the "worst film possible", the filmmaker is forced to use animation - which he detests - and ends up making a piece of eye candy that trumps its counterparts on MTV. I was blown away with what you could do with only 12 frames per second (roughly half a second). Shot on location in Cuba (another arbitrary obstruction), it’s an amazing montage of the perfect man and woman – a la Cubana.

Curiously enough, the apex of Lars’ experiment came when he told Leth to make a film without any obstructions at all. "Oh no," Leth said. "that’s too difficult. I need some kind of restriction!"


Lucas should have seen this before he made the abominable Revenge of the Sith. "CGI, total control, and megastars do not a good movie make."

And I'm tired of arguing with Spanish people who think the barrier to success is because there is no Hollywood here. Try making something original, and not a bad Hollywood copy.