Yet another year with yet another update.
2012 version can be found here.
2013 version can be found here.
Director Lars von Trier depicts the vivid moral informative film about the ruthlessness of civil society. Filmed in a minimalist style, that until recently was unrecognized, the Danish filmmaker depicts the quite familiar themes of guilt and forgiveness, good and evil, and the moral chasm of humanity.
"Evil can arise anywhere, as long as the situation is right." So says Lars von Trier on his own quiet, sly and quite frankly brilliant work, Dogville. A simple clean stage and a camera that focuses on nothing more than what it needs to, placed perfectly as if we're watching a book unfold. Classical music plays and a calming narrator reads text loaded with its own deeply dark edge of humor, as a tale of natural human vileness unfolds with an unmatched originality and extreme minimalistic beauty.
Dogville is dirty, harsh, dark and grim, and the slow decent into this in the almost three hour run time is disheartening in its human cruelty - made not unbearable by only the…
I’m blurting this review out just minutes after watching. Something I don’t normally do, but I just can’t contain myself, and know I’m going to have to re-watch more than once to write a proper one. Please excuse the ramblings.
Dogville has been hanging over my head for a while now. As per my usual practice, I tried to avoid any pre knowledge. All I knew is that a: it was Lars Von Trier, b: it was 3 hours long, c: it starred Nicole Kidman, and d: worst of all, it had ShakyCam. Not a good start. I have a mixed history with Von Trier, and I’ve only seen two of his films, Melancholia, which I quite liked, but was…
Holy hell. Dogville is as close to a visceral, visual depiction of pure, unfocused hatred as I have ever seen. It is not depressing, it is not sad, it's just mean. It is not misogynist, misandrist, or even anti-American; this is misanthropy, plain and simple. Here is the reduction of the flaws within every living human into their vilest essence, turning mankind into little more than, you guessed it, a dog - one that doesn't know right from wrong, and one that must be dissuaded from instinct and nature to perform in ways deemed appropriate by self-proclaimed moral superiors. Thus returns the familiar question of 'why' behind the film's production - as far as I can tell, the 'why' is…
Part lovely fable, part moral archaeology, part mirror, it delivers a scathing judgment on human nature, moral righteousness, greed and selfishness. And that isn't the half of it. An overt condemnation of consumerism, capitalism, and American imperialism, it lambasts every part of human nature exploited by capitalist societies.
It explores all of this in the form of a fable about Grace, a young woman of privilege who escapes to all-American small town Dogville, where the simple people living in hard times are romanticized to the point where Grace fails to see their human failings and forgives them anything because she owes them and because she is arrogant enough to believe that people living through hard times should be forgiven for…
The accusation that von Trier is a misogynist should be dismissed as slanderous nonsense by anyone who has seen this film.
It is a powerful denunciation of oppression of all kinds (and a satire of the mental gymnastics and hypocrisy of the intellectual apologists who would defend this oppression), a pessimistic morality tale, a raging cry of righteous indignation at the plight of the victimized, a mockery of the self-righteous tyrannical, a condemnation of masochistic pacifism and learned helplessness. All of this is illustrated within the socio-political context of Depression-era America, but to call the movie "anti-American" is to miss the point and overlook the tale's universality.
It is, in short, a masterpiece, and the finest von Trier film I've seen to date.
I was a pretty big supporter of Lars Von Treir’s last two films (Antichrist and Melencholia) but watching this was a good reminder of why I was so ambivalent about the guy’s work up until recently. All through the 90s Von Trier had this obsession with creating these impossibly innocent and naïve women and then putting them through the ringer of abuse and tragedy. Some people have called this misogynistic, but I’m really more concerned with the fact that these protagonists just aren’t as believable or interesting. The protagonist here is eventually revealed to be a bit more complicated than the protagonists of Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark, but only slightly and all the people surrounding her…
Can be viewed completely as a political allegory, an ensemble of loneliness, and a parable about the dark side of human nature. Lars Von Trier is one of the great contemporary filmmakers and while he stumbles over himself on occasion, this surely was not one of those times. Featuring a fearless performance by Nicole Kidman and brave, defiant decision making as far as set design and atmosphere go, Dogville is singular and profound. This is no action picture, but Von Trier's three hours fly by, for no other reason than because his characters are so magnificently fully-realized. We can't take our eyes off them.
What’s most fascinating about Dogville is how the lack of set, props, etc. – which I was ambivalent about at first – slowly becomes less noticeable as the drama unfolds. In a way, it’s kind of the same concept that Mamet uses in House of Games, where the performances build themselves around the dialogue, really forcing you to listen to what they’re saying. Here, with the surroundings reduced to white lines on a sound stage, you’re really forced to focus on the performances rather than what’s around them. It’s like losing one of your senses; you've got to overcompensate with your other four to make up for the one you lost.
And the performances are pretty much all great, and…
Might actually be the first Lars Von Trier I've seen. A 3 hour period drama about a town that forgot to build walls.
Takes a while to get used to the style, the lack of sets and no fancy camera work except for a few incredible overhead shots. All shot in Cinema Verite style. Watching everyone pretending to open doors never got tiring.
Paul Bettany is bumming about town, chatting to people and stuff. There's a load of people to meet and John Hurt rambles over it. Bettany beats Faraday from Lost at draughts then bumbles on home. Hears some distant gunshots and gets pretty hyped about it, so hyped he falls asleep. That's when Nicole Kidman shows up, hiding…
A disturbing and an amazing film. Rarely would these 2 adjectives be used to describe any film. This is unlike anything I have seen before. The set pieces and the environment are minimalist in nature and resemble those from a play or a theater.It is the narration and the acting performances that move the story forward. The small town of Dogville welcome a stranger among them(Kidman) and protect her from the mob. Nicole Kidman is stunning and this is one of her best performances. The narrative takes some surprising turns towards the middle culminating in a shocking climax. LVT has certainly directed a great film here.
3 hours of watching people be nice to then abuse Nicole Kidman on every possible level. 5/5
Lars von Trier is a genius.
This film is a purely original work of art.
Daring and indulgent in equal measures, Lars von Trier's film is an unmissable piece of work.
This may be his greatest screenplay yet, certainly his most fiercely audacious execution of material.
The performances are all amazing, especially Nicole Kidman. She delivers one of her finest performances in a career full of brilliant work.
Lars von Trier's films are never easy to watch, but this film is especially challenging.
At 178 minutes, the film is overlong and undeniably indulgent. It's also undeniably powerful filmmaking that I'll never forget.
John Hurt's narration is compelling, as are the performances of everyone in the film.
The film's execution is…
Another year, another update. 2012 List can be found here.
The following is a really extensive and great list of…
1. THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007) by Paul Thomas Anderson
IMDb: 8.1 | RT: 91% || Points: 2110 | Peak:…