Went into this with a sense of obligation, expecting an overwrought Von Trier exercise. Ended up being drawn in and taken up by Leth's wry wit and reluctant enthusiasm for the challenges presented to him. The films he makes end up being quite intriguing and stand on their own and actually improve on his lauded (at least by Von Trier) original. Come for the oatmeal and stay for the cherries.
A pact between filmmakers Lars von Trier and Jorgen Leth allows von Trier to challenge Leth with a series of "obstructions" in recreating Leth's short experimental film "The Perfect Human." It is so enjoyable to watch Lars lay out these obstructions and then watch Jorgen figure out how to overcome them in his filmmaking. So cool. Watching how these extraordinary and odd minds work is another glorious fascination.
It is nice to see filmmakers in their element and the process of creating a film, making art with limitations vs no limitations; the challenge of creating separation. The relationship between von Trier and Jorgen Leth is pure and entertaining. The perspective both filmmakers determine what a film should be/include is both juxtaposing and in sync. Each obstruction is great to see.
This film reminds me when Dogma started, with its obstructions. This is the influence that engendered the movement. The film embraces Denmark’s emphasis on the human condition, in all of its foibles. I’m thinking of the recent North Korea Documentary with the fake disabled person, or the film where the protagonist feigns fits, or where a dinner party turns to the host’s admission of something horrid, or…
By its nature, a difficult film to rate. The actual short films Leth produced from the obstructions were great (I wish it was easier to see his features). But the connecting tissue with von Trier is unmemorable(except in how unlikable von Trier comes off as). So 4 stars/2 stars . . .
People unnerved by the Bombay film oughtta read Peter Singer's seminal Famine, Affluence, and Morality and his book The Life You Can Save. The vast geographical distances which separate rich from poor are ethically irrelevant. If it's perverse to eat so richly in front of the global poor, it's perverse to eat so anywhere without simultaneously trying to make such disparities a thing of the past.
Von Trier, ever the agent provocateur, cast his designs on a filmmaker he truly admired with this incredible experimentation made in collaboration with Jorgen Leth. He challenged Leth to remake his classic short 'The Perfect Human' five times abiding by obstructions Von Trier would hand out. However the brilliance of Leth's filmmaking provides the only true obstruction of Von Trier's designs. One of the decade's best
Lars Von Trier is the abusive relationship you keep finding yourself going back to. Here, he gets to embody that role, justify it, atone for it, strut arrogantly in it. Leth, meanwhile, is the foil: willingly abused, fed, nourished, mirroring the audience, coming out stronger (more justification). And the coup de grace: well, the roles are interchangeable! And so his game continues... Clever as always.