BERLIN — Eleven years after Dogme 95, maverick Danish auteur Lars von Trier has issued a “Statement of Revitality” in which he pledges a more “ascetic” approach to filmmaking.
Von Trier, who starts shooting his latest movie “The Boss of It All” in ten days, says he will reduce the scope of his productions “in regards to funding, technology, the size of the crew, and particularly casting.”
He also intends to stop promoting his pics through world premieres at “prestigious, exotic festivals” – clearly a reference to Cannes, where he has launched most of his films, including “Manderlay,” “Dogville,” “The Dancer in the Dark” (which won the Palme d’Or), “The Idiots” and “Breaking the Waves.”
Indeed, he has announced that “The Boss of It All” will premiere Sept. 21 at the Copenhagen Intl. Film Festival. That will be the first time von Trier has debuted a movie at home in Denmark.
“We couldn’t dream of a better opening film than one from our greatest filmmaker,” said fest programmer Jacob Neiiendam. “The Boss of It All” will then be included in the Copenhagen Screenings (Sept. 22-23) for industry buyers.
Meanwhile, “Wasington,” the third project in the “Dogville” trilogy, is on indefinite hold.
Von Trier’s decision to change direction follows the departure of his longtime producer Vibeke Windelov, and her replacement by Meta Louise Foldager. He hopes that his new approach will help him to “rediscover his original enthusiasm for film.”
He pledges to take more time for development, so that his projects are not merely “required to meet preconceived demands,” and to spend longer shooting them.
And this master of arthouse PR says that he is planning a drastic reduction in the amount of publicity for his films – although that will be “compensated by a more thorough exploration in the quality press.”
“In short, in my fiftieth year, I feel I have earned the privilege of narrowing down,” he concludes. “I hope that this attempt at personal revitalization will bear fruit, enabling me to meet my own needs in terms of curiosity and play, and to contribute with more films.”
“The Boss of It All” is a comedy about the owner of an IT firm who hires an actor to play the president of the company. Cast includes Jens Albinus, Iben Hjejle, Jean-Marc Barr and Peter Gantzler.
It’s produced by Foldager, Windelov and Signe Jensen, in co-production with Memfis Film and Slot Machine. Nordisk will release the movie in Denmark, with world sales handled by Trust.
“In conjunction with the departure of Vibeke Windeløv, who has been my producer for ten years, and the arrival of Meta Louise Foldager in her place, I intend to reschedule my professional activities in order to rediscover my original enthusiasm for film.
Over the last few years I have felt increasingly burdened by barren habits and expectations (my own and other people’s) and I feel the urge to tidy up.
In regards to product development this will mean more time on freer terms; i.e. projects will be allowed to undergo true development and not merely be required to meet preconceived demands. This is partly to liberate me from routine, and in particular from scriptual structures inherited from film to film.
I will aim to reduce the scope of my productions in regards to funding, technology, the size of the crew, and particularly casting, but I should like to expand the time spent shooting them.
I want to launch my products on a scale which matches the more ascetic nature of the films, and aimed at my core audience: i.e. my films will be promoted considerably less glamorously than at present, which also means without World Premieres at prestigious, exotic festivals.
With regard to PR, my intention is for a heavy reduction in quantity, compensated for by more thorough exploration in the quality press.
In short, in my fiftieth year I feel I have earned the privilege of narrowing down. I hope that this attempt at personal revitalization will bear fruit, enabling me to meet my own needs in terms of curiosity and play, and to contribute with more films.”