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Thursday, July 24, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Five Obstructions cinematronic
  director

Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier

cast

Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  From the roiling mind of Danish director Lars von Trier comes "The Five Obstructions." It's not a singing group, but a unique, amusing documentary about a deliberate attempt to remake the same film over and over again. Von Trier's involvement in the project makes sense; his movies ("Dogville," "Dancer in the Dark," "Breaking the Waves," etc.) always display a fervidly experimental nature and a cheerfully bent perspective. In "The Five Obstructions," von Trier asks filmmaker Jørgen Leth to shoot new versions of "The Perfect Human" — Leth's watershed avant-garde short from 1967. The ploy is that each re-do must be made under different strictures thought up by von Trier. It's apparent that von Trier is challenging and honoring Leth, who is in semi-retirement in Haiti. Leth takes up the gauntlet and starts to rethink "The Perfect Human." Since he considers Leth to be an inspiration and mentor, it's remarkable how difficult or sadistic von Trier's obstructions can be. The project becomes a battle of wits crossed with a psychotherapy session. Comic relief is courtesy of von Trier's crankiness when Leth takes advantage of or circumvents the various constraints. With its concentration on interpersonal dynamics and the creative process, "The Five Obstructions" is a riveting discourse on discord as a trigger for artistic improvisation and resourcefulness.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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