During these last weeks we have spotlighted people from the world of cinema that are big in this award season. But this week, we want to speak about a director that is the centre of many debates even if he’s not currently competing for the Oscars, Golden Globes or other awards: Lars Von Trier.
His complex personality and his phobias made him, since his very first debut, one of the most complex and unique filmmakers in the world. Lars Von Trier started his career working both for television and cinema and his first appearance on the big screen was in the film “Hemmelig Sommer” when he was just 13 years old.
Lars Von Trier achieved the real cinematographic success with “Forbrydelsens element” („The Element of Crime“) in 1984, that was much appreciated by the international audiences. With this film he won the award for the Best Technical Contribution at the Cannes Film Festival.
There is a period in his career in which he experimented with digital techniques – shooting films handheld. This technique was quite new when his film “Dancer in the Dark” was released, in 2000. The protagonist of the film was played by the famous singer Bjork and the images were shaking and unusual for a full-length film. Lars Von Trier called his film an “anti-musical”.
He abandoned the handheld camera technique with his film “Dogville”, in 2003. The film was focusing not on the shooting technique but on the performances of actors and on their interpretation of characters. The film was a success at a global level, mostly thanks to the presence of big Hollywood stars, like Nicole Kidman.
At the 25th anniversary of his career, in 2009, Lars Von Trier appeared in cinemas with “Antichrist”, a film based on the book of the philosopher Nietzsche. In this film it is clear that the director suffered from depression disorders. His illness influenced the plot and the scenes of the film that resulted a mix of two different genres: horror and erotic.
2011 was the year of the release of “Melancholia”, film that had been influenced by a difficult episode of depression in Lars Von Trier’s life. With this film he wanted to show how a depressed person can appear calmer than anyone else in facing a dangerous situation because always expecting the worst to happen. The film was presented at the Cannes Film Festival, where Kirsten Dunst won the award for Best Female Performance.
In these last months Lars Von Trier has been one of the most discussed directors because of his film “Nymphomaniac”, released on December 2013. The film had to be cut and divided in two parts to be distributed to theatres because the original version lasted five and half hours and contained many racy sex scenes. The critics are divided between the enthusiastic ones and the perplex ones and so far the first part has been a great success, with an amazing performance of Uma Thurman in a supporting role. Soon we will find out what the critics think about the second part that was released in most part of Europe just recently.
Filmmakers can be characterized by complex and eccentric personalities, like Lars Von Trier… but ÉCU supports every independent filmmaker that has something to communicate. Well then.. send us your screenplay and participate in our “Much More Than A Script Competition”!