|Lars von Trier – Director & Screenplay
Lars von Trier was born in 1956 and graduated from The Danish Film School in 1983.
He is widely considered to be the prime mover behind the current revival of Danish filmmaking and has made a significant impact on a new generation of directors both in his home country and around the world, not least because of his central role in Dogme95.
Von Trier’s film work ranges from the avant-garde to reinterpretations of classical genres. His earliest shorts were stylistically inventive explorations of themes and symbols that would later play a central role in his feature films and Von Trier developed a mode of cinematic expression that was at once heavily symbolic and emotionally intense.
Lars von Trier established himself both in Denmark and internationally with the Europa Trilogy. Illuminating the traumas of Europe in the future, the Europa Trilogy is characterized by a personal, experimental style of filmmaking.
The trilogy consists of:
1984 THE ELEMENT OF CRIME
1991 EUROPA (ZENTROPA)
In 1991, Lars von Trier and “Europa” producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen established their own company, Zentropa Entertainments, which has grown to become a leading force in Scandinavian film production.
Lars von Trier has made two TV productions: MEDEA in 1988 and THE KINGDOM I & ll in 1994 and 1997, the latter co-directed with Morten Arnfred. It was with THE KINGDOM series that Lars von Trier created a technical style which made it easier to focus on the story and the actors.
It was an insight that would later draw him to the Dogme concept. THE KINGDOM was shot mostly with a hand-held camera, ignoring the usual rules of lighting, continuity and editing, resulting in distorted colours and grainy pictures. The series became von Trier¹s first huge popular success. The level of Danish and international interest in THE KINGDOM made it possible for von Trier and his producers Peter Aalbæk Jensen and Vibeke Windeløv to fund his next big project.
The second trilogy, "The Golden-Heart Trilogy", was inspired by a sentimental children's book from von Trier’s childhood about a little girl who is always ready to sacrifice herself to help others.
This trilogy consists of:
1996 BREAKING THE WAVES
1998 THE IDIOTS
2000 DANCER IN THE DARK
In 1995, Lars von Trier presented the Dogme95 Manifesto with its “Vow of Chastity” laying down 10 rules for filmmaking. The manifesto was signed by von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg (FESTEN, winner of the Special Jury Prize in Cannes).
All of Lars von Trier’s feature films have been officially selected by the Cannes International Film Festival and they have been awarded seven prizes, including the Grand Prix du Jury for BREAKING THE WAVES and the Palme d’Or for DANCER IN THE DARK. His feature films and his work for television have won a host of international prizes, including an Oscar nomination for Emily Watson in “Breaking the Waves”.
Lars von Trier is currently working on his third trilogy "USA -- land of opportunities" of which DOGVILLE is the first film. The second part of the trilogy, MANDERLAY, is currently in pre-production in Filmbyen, Denmark.
1977 ORCHIDÉGARTNEREN (THE ORCHID GARDENER), amateur short
1979 MENTHE - LA BIENHEUREUSE (MENTHE), amateur short
1980 NOCTURNE, Film School short
1981 DEN SIDSTE DETALJE (THE LAST DETAIL), Film School short
1982 BEFRIELSESBILLEDER (PICTURES OF LIBERATION IMAGES OF A RELIEF),
Graduation film, Film School
1984 THE ELEMENT OF CRIME (FORBRYDELSENS ELEMENT)
1988 MEDEA (TV)
1994 RIGET (THE KINGDOM) (co-director: Morten Arnfred), episodes 1-4 (Made for TV, but also shown in theatres)
1994 THE TEACHERS ROOM (LÆRERVÆRELSET) TV, episodes 1-6)
1996 BREAKING THE WAVES
1997 RIGET 2 (THE KINGDOM 2) (co-director: Morten Arnfred), episodes 5-8 (Made for TV, but also shown in theatres)
1998 THE IDIOTS (IDIOTERNE)
2000 D-DAY (D-DAG) collective Dogme project with Thomas Vinterberg, Søren Kragh-Jacobsen & Kristian Levring)
2000 DANCER IN THE DARK
2003 DOGVILLE (First film of “Triology USA -- land of opportunities" )
2003 THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS, documentary directed together with Danish documentar film veteran Jorgen Leth
2004 MANDERLAY (Second film of “Triology USA -- land of opportunities" )
Lars von Trier’s films have all – besides from The Boss of it All - been officially selected for the Cannes International Film Festival, where they have won seven awards, including the Jury Special Prize for Breaking the Waves and the Palme d’Or for Dancer in the Dark. His features and work for television have gleaned numerous international accolades, among them an Academy Award nomination for Emily Watson’s performance in Breaking the Waves.
In 1995 Lars von Trier announced the Dogme95 manifesto with its Vow of Chastity, and in 1998 he premiered his own Dogme film, Idioterne (The Idiots).
Lars von Trier’s Europa trilogy consisted of Forbrydelsens Element (Element of Crime), Epidemic, and Europa. His second trilogy was made up of Breaking the Waves, Idioterne and Dancer in the Dark.
Following his Europa trilogy Lars von Trier made his television series Riget I & II (The Kingdom I & II) in 1994 and 1997 respectively.
Over the years Lars von Trier has made the following films: Orchidegartneren (The Orchid Gardener, 1977), Menthe – la bienheureuse (1979), Nocturne (1980), Den sidste Detalje (The Last Detail, 1981), Befrielsesbilleder (Liberation Pictures, 1982), all amateur and short films, and Forbrydelsens Element (Element of Crime, 1984), Epidemic (1987), Europa (1991), Breaking the Waves (1996), Idioterne (The Idiots, 1998), Dancer in the Dark (2000), De Fem Benspænd (The Five Obstructions, 2003), Dogville (2003), Manderlay (2005), Direktøren for det hele (The Boss of it All, 2006), and the short film Occupations (2007).