Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The five obstructions

I watched The Five Obstructions a few nights ago and really loved it. This is a fascinating documentary that sees the Danish director (and trickster) Lars von Trier challenge Jorgen Leth to remake his 1967 short film The Perfect Human five different times.

What makes it interesting is each version von Trier comes up with rules or obstructions that will challenge Leth in an attempt to trip him up or make him suffer while making the film.

For example, remake number one has a series of obstructions with one being no cut longer than 12 frames (film exists with 24 frames per second so that’s a lot of very short cuts for the entire film). To see what Leth does with each of these five groups of obstructions is terrific to watch as Leth is inspired by von Trier and makes interesting short after interesting short. Leth comes off as a very talented man after watching what he does with von Trier’s obstructions.

The Five Obstructions deals into subjects such as the deconstruction of film and the recreation of it as something new, different and better—yet still oddly the same almost thirty years after it was originally made.

The Five Obstructions is one of my favorite documentaries of the year and is a must see for anyone who loves seeing the behind the scenes, creative aspects of filmmaking.

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