A mix of home-video and documentary, tells the story of a group of eccentrics in a Copenhagen suburb who find cathartic release in breaking limitations and bringing out their inner idiots. By doing so they attack middle-class sensibilities. An official Dogma-95 film.
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Beautiful film. I love the way they embody mentally disabled people at their convenience, but then at times become locked into these personas and are unable to escape them. "There's an idiot in all of us waiting to come out" Stoffer says to Karen. It seems as though they use embodying or becoming "idiots" allow them to deal with there various issues, confront the people with whom this issues are relevant.
One of the few Dogme films that used the rules to forge something genuinely new, as opposed to filtering a conventional film through a low-fi aesthetic. I have always suspected Von Trier concocted Dogme 95 to suit himself above anyone else.
It is slowly dawning on me that Lars von Trier's goal through Dogme was to strip away all the pretentiousness and the surreal beauty of film to leave nothing but the purity of real life - so raw, so intense - enough to send a message. His every piece is a statement. It screams at you until you soak it in. And when you do, you are that bit more understanding of the world; a magical transformation.
Shocking, abrasive and brilliant. Finally got around to watching this film by one of my all time favorite filmmakers and I must say I'm extremely impressed. It contained some of the most awkward comedic scenes I've ever seen in my life as well as some brilliant performances. And the ending is absolutely touching and beautiful in every sense of the word. Loved loved loved it.
Few subjects can yield insights as profound & compelling as the study of what happens when we give enough power to some affectation for it to override the superego and free the id (thus, necessarily, subverting social norms). None are meaningfully explored in this film. A contrived pageant of Von Trier conceits, further (& ironically) debased by the manipulative, un-Dogme95 use of sentimental non-diegetic music. 2.5
You should see the unedited version simply for the fact that it goes too far. And that's part of the point. These people get caught up in what they're doing, and are not in control like they thought. I also identified with the people in the film because I have done similar stupid things.
Arguably this is Von Trier's most misunderstood and debatable work in his now long career of being the professional agitator. Somehow much more controversial in my memory then rescreening now. Performances are solid and the 'dogme' limitations were brand new at the time offering their just rewards but the problem is in understanding the motivation of the characters outside the views of the interloper Karen.