Film Movements in Cinema: Dogme 95
Revolutions change history. History is filled with year-long revolutions some of which were pretty brutal as well. When the word movement is heard, we get images of social rebellion, something to do with politics, freedom, or probably self-expression? Right?
It’s hard to believe that a revolutionary film movement exists which would have a set of some very strict and rigid rules. That is the basis of the Dogme 95 Film Movement.
To get a complete understanding of how a film movement like Dogme 95 came to life, it is important to know the history and the political events which took place in the early 1990s.
Because of the ending of the Cold War as well as the downfall of the Soviet Union, there came about a very quick progression of globalization, democracy as well as capitalism on a global scale.
These events were the binding forces that reunited the world and relaxed the drifts and clashes between the countries. Barriers came down, and film ideas and genres were put forward and established for migration across borders.
The advancement in technologies like growing personal computers, the internet, and the techniques used in filmmaking leading to the digital era were a great help in transporting ideas as well as films around the globe.
Cinema reached at an uncertain point in its history in the year 1995 because digital film technology threatened it. By mentioning digital technology, it was implied that the cost of film production, exhibition, and distribution are lessened, and the production and distribution systems are quickened.
This meant that the non-Hollywood filmmakers could compete with Hollywood in regards to making films and delivering them to their audiences. In such an environment came as a rescue action of some sort. Big budgeted movies of Hollywood were gaining a lot of hype and fame. Von Trier and Vinterberg wanted to prove a point by showing that budgets do not define quality.
It was in early 1995 that Lars von Trier made a call to Thomas Vinterberg inviting him to start a film revolution with him. And then according to legend, in 45-minutes these two directors manifested the which they always called in capital letters THE VOW OF CHASTITY which was a ten-point set of rules called the Dogme 95 Manifesto. Dogme is the Danish word for dogma.
Top 10 Dogme 95 Movies of All Time
These ten points were rules created so that the filmmaking industry could follow the foundation of the traditional ingredients of a story, acting, theme without the usage of extremely elaborate special effects or any technology.
In a way an attempt to get back power for the director as an artist against the rules of the studio. These two were later joined by some fellow Danish directors as well which formed the Dogme 95 collective or the Dogme Brethren.
Officially announced on March 22, 1995, at the Le Cinéma Vers Son Deuxième Siècle in Paris, the Dogme Film Movement was brought to attention to the elite class of the cinema’s world who had come together to celebrate the event of motion pictures’ first century. The other purpose was also to ponder over the current not-so-certain situation of the commercial cinema.
The way it has been heard, the story goes somehow like this that Lars von Trier was to give a speech about the future of the film industry, but instead, he baffled the audience and alarming them by the bombardment of red pamphlets that voiced his Dogme 95 movement.
In response to the extensive criticism objections that followed, both Trier and Vinterberg stated that all the wanted and intended to do was the establishment of a new extreme. Their aim was to balance the dynamics as much as possible in this business of staggeringly high budgets.
And since then, 108 films have been considered of Dogme worth. The first 31 of these receiving certifications of acceptance and approval.
Quite similar to Dogme 95, there were other movements like Italian Neorealism as well as French New Wave. Although had certain political consequences where the post-WWII Italian filmmakers, as well as the post-Trente Glorieuses French filmmakers, were sharp, Dogme 95 filmmakers were more intelligent.
While the Italian and French filmmakers welcomed creative freedom with open arms and embraced it, the film movement Dogme 95, jotted down their manifesto and imposed a ten rule set which they proudly called “VOW OF CHASTITY”.
The aim with which Dogme 95 was put forward by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, was for the purification of the filmmaking process. It was to cleanse the whole procedure of filmmaking by refusing expensive special effects, post-production changes as well as other gimmicks.
The emphasis was put on the purity forces and factors the filmmakers were to focus on like the actual story and the performances of the actors.
Dogma 95- The rules
Listed are the ten rules which the Dogme film had to follow:
- The film format must be Academy 35 mm.
- Genre movies are not acceptable.
- Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now).
- The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
- Optical work and filters are forbidden.
- The film must be in color. Special lighting is not acceptable. (If there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).
- The camera must be hand-held. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted.
- The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. (Music must not be used unless it occurs where the scene is being shot.)
- Shooting must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in (if a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found).
- The director must not be credited.
The question that arises is why would anyone want to do that? Why the need for such rules? And in what way the first filmmakers settled upon which rules were set to deliver the needed effect?
Dogme 95 Movement
In June of 2002, both of the creators of the Dogme 95 film movement declared that it was officially dead apparently as it was beginning to form a genre that was never the intention of forming the ten-rule manifesto. Though you could still fill a form and send t someone and get yourself added to the list of the Dogme 95 films, the real true Dogme 95 films were those initial 31 films certified.
The year 2005 was the year the Dogme 95 ended after the founders agreed that the CHASTITY VOW was creating formulaic films thought the initial results and effects that it created cannot be denied.
In some instances, giving yourself the full liberty is actually holding your creativity back with countless chances. If you hold it in a box, it is bound to break free somehow.
The ten-rules mentioned above have been broken and side-stepped from the first Dogme film to be produced. That is shocking right? For example, Vinterberg has actually admitted it himself by confessing that he had covered the window during the scene of a specific scene in The Celebration (Festen).
Not only this, he also admitted to having brought a prop onto the set so that he could use “special lighting” which was against the rules of the film movement, Dogme 95.
Vinterberg was not the only one who failed to conform to the rules he together with Trier had put together to purify the filmmaking. Trier is guilty of using background music in the film The Idiots. Another film of Korine Julien Donkey-Boy featured two scenes which had non-diegetic music as well as numerous shots which were not shot by a handheld camera, hidden cameras were used, and also a non-diegetic prop.
Lars von Trier however praised the lapses of the movie while giving an interview that was released on Epidemic DVD.
Since the year 2002 and the 31st film that was approved by the Dogme 95 movement, a filmmaker is not required to have his work and efforts verified by the original board anymore so that it can be identified as a Dogme95 work.
The founding brothers, Dogme Brethren have initiated something new. They have begun their efforts on experimental projects and have themselves become of a skeptical attitude regarding the later common understanding and interpretation of the Manifesto as a genre or a brand. But the movement officially has met its end by breaking up in the year 2005.
Transcript: Any film that undergoes the mere touch of Lars Von Tria is destined to emerge with some preconceived notions. But as is to be expected from any artists whose work deals in provocation, upon your art becoming shrouded within controversial subject matter, one must anticipate public scrutiny more frequently than your less offensive contemporaries.
Although in this instance, it means the reception of the artist’s work is incredibly divisive. It also happens to be the crux of his charm. I didn’t like it, and I feel angry because I feel manipulated. And the only person I can express it to is you, I feel manipulated by you. How do you feel about that?
I feel wonderful often described as a manipulator and facetious primarily by himself, having experienced the work of Vaughn Tria firsthand, I’m inclined to believe otherwise.
The classification of his filmography is a daunting task. His plots are rarely succinct, his attitude to cinema is questionable at best. But to me, the finest filmmakers are those that raise questions, questions not only about the boundaries of art, but how in breaching those boundaries, we paradoxically broaden the capabilities of cinema, with a form almost unmatched in its diversity on trias avant garde approach makes him one of the finest examples of the modern day otter. But how do you define someone that’s determined to resist artistic categorization?
I would leave the cinema just after the next two lesson, and the film just gone forever.
Palm Trees claim on his craft was that in order to create original art, filmmakers should distinguish themselves from one another stylistically. This philosophy truly came to fruition when in collaboration with fellow Danish filmmaker Thomas vinterberg, established the 1995 dogma movement, a set of rules known as the vow of chastity would become essential in the development of voluntaryist filmic attitude. Although only truly conforming to the dogma rules with this film, the idiots the creation of this edict would become the principal foundation to how Vaughn tree is positioned as a filmmaker would be recognized. His artistry can be summed up in one word restriction,
if you have some limitations, when you work, like these rules, or like other things, then you are forced kind of to use your imagination, you have this idea of, of being an artist as being completely free. And that is what the whole idea of dogmas are.
Somehow to share the viewpoint that to gain the most from any medium, as much of its vocabulary should be utilized as possible. However, voluntary school of thought is almost a contradictory philosophy. Perhaps by eliminating some of the most rudimentary techniques of the medium. Can artists reach a different kind of freedom?
As we see in his experimental documentary The five obstructions, creative amendments to the form have to be made when you’re stripped of a standard procedure? They would check this box you need to check if anyone has to fill out my name is Marvin smelly. Voluntary or almost every project is an exercise in style.
We go from very to like handheld to stunningly detailed black and white shooting, aspect ratio changes and close saturate, sometimes all in a single scene. But the reason that voluntary is extensive visual style is implemented and why it’s permissible is because these techniques supplement that which is missing from avantree film. For example, melancholia is an end of the world film that gives away its ending in the first few moments.
How do you then make a film where the characters fates are immediately revealed? dogville is a period piece with almost all of its art direction removed. If you take out any mandatory component in art, you have to improvise and experiment with new storytelling techniques to say what you want to say. Much like the five obstructions This is the heart of Ontario’s filmmaking, challenging himself and in turn the art form.
Even I’m famous Co Op calls it up some yanyu smoked Kalispell availa so their mama Vicki they know some hen her inferred me Don’t embarrass Jesus bail baler is not the current thing in search hooked on to will.
country’s status as a revisionist the film farm is an unjustified whether it’s adopting a typical Chapter based structures are peculiar fusions of genre hybrids country his work is heavily rooted in a deconstruction of the anatomy of cinema, to break down what we know about the fundamentals of filmmaking, and rebuild as if those rules never existed.
Inventory his work not only does he search for answers to his characters plights, perhaps more importantly, he searches for solutions to the enigma of cinema itself. by refusing to conform to its conventions, whether due to contempt or experimentation.
The typical outcome is something that highlights the very unreality of cinema, where most strives for very similar tude boundary it’s to finds ways to replicate real life. But then something like this will happen. is output is rich with these trademarks that serve to shatter the cinematic illusion. Why? On Tria has a fondness for dramatic gestures, not simply referring to his off screen antics.
What I think his films excel in is the seldom mentioned predominance of human drama. Because beyond his proclivity to repel the audience through extremities, characters and story matter most of Andrea, his films are more than anything, a journey to the nature of the human heart, what people will do for their lovers for their children for their safety.
There’s much sincerity that goes on mentioned in his work. However, what differentiates a one Tria film from other dramas is that he takes very human concepts and escalates them to almost metaphysical levels, as if there’s some cosmic relation of the human condition. he explores his themes and seeks to find patterns across our reality, hoping that there’s some equation that pieces all of it together.
So it’s zero plus one makes one and one plus one makes two and two plus one makes three and three plus two makes five and five plus three makes eight.
To divulging ideas in such an extravagant manner. It makes sense that they be delivered through a self awareness of the mediums limitations on Tria attempts, eclectic techniques that create the reality of his worlds. But due to the very nature of cinema, we can only believe so much. So maybe in that case, is better to acknowledge its artifice.
manipulation is also something you do to yourself when you go into a cinema. Either you leave the cinema straight away, or you have to get some kind of relationship what is happening and and imagine that these people are real people, you know,
this bulldozing of audience immersion is the artist easing goes into a mutual realization of his themes. By dismantling the barrier of the film world in our own, it’s in turn breaks the shackles of the story only existing in the space of the character, it becomes more than just their story, it becomes our own. The earth is evil.
No need to create for these themes so broad that they do require large digressions in the plot to explore them. In doing so Vaughn, Tria films become split into a side regarding humanity and aside regarding symbolism, to complement one another, but they’re simultaneously very separate. This separation in turn has an effect on the visual style of Vaughn Tria.
Throughout his work, he never finds drama through the cinematic image, where other artists will use compositional techniques to evoke moods and meanings. The physical image is almost negligible to them. Tria when evoking emotion, a technique inherited from the dogma movement was to make performance and story paramount. Okay, let’s start with the new diagnosis. And to say the opposite way,
this emphasis of emotion of a theory is most evident inventory his use of editing. At first glance, it’s a far more frantic style than archetypal cutting. Typically, the key for most editors is to let shots run long enough, so emotion has time to settle.
However, Vaughn tree his approach is to cut out the how, and simply leave us with the what, leave out how we got to where we are, and just show us the product of what went on scene. The story becomes elliptical and chronologically disjointed. But the result is a honing on the scenes emotional intensity.
The main rule we had in the editing was we should cut emotionally, that we shouldn’t respect the transportation or the formality of the establishing of the situation we should go late into the situation as late as we as we dared and leave it as soon as emotion is
managed. The shots may be short, but the sequences are long. And the combination is a collection of moments that capture the absolute peaks of emotion that occurred within a single space. But when structure doesn’t expose the drama of his work, acting does. The thing about directors is that perhaps their most important job is the one the audience doesn’t say.
How do they direct directors, you walk into a room and you start shooting. But if you’ve got a 10 page dialog saying, and he hasn’t told you what the camera can do, or what you can do, or whether you should be naked or not naked or whether you can take a glass of water, you basically make the scene on your feet and then he reacts to it.
Vaughn Tria gives actors free rein to improvise, reminiscent of the techniques of the nouvelle bog, his screenplays are seen as mere blueprints. The plot is all there, but those idiosyncrasies of the actors that can’t be envisioned, they have to be found organically.
To show off a lot, it takes a little allows creativity to take center stage, and it further shows that bonk, Tria doesn’t treat his personal dramas as secondary facets. If anything, he wants the emotion shown to be as real as possible. It’s just too much. Although the much easier to dissect portion, these human segments are still rife with symbolism, not necessarily in the filmic image, putting content.
For example, in antichrist, we see themes discussing DNA evil of nature, the dangers of femininity, it’s symbolically overall in story in action, but not in image composition. Yet as the themes of his stories grow larger in scale, then does image become a priority on Tria is a handheld director when it comes to drama. It captures the free flowing nature of the human spirit. Yeah, what separates his exploration of symbolism stylistically, is the static camera. In these instances, the static shot has more in common with the painted image as opposed to the cinematic one. The obvious distinction between the two styles insinuates that these images should be looked at with a different attitude.
Yet the entirety of voluntary symbolic portions are to be viewed through a sharper analytical lens the same way one would read a painting, but it’s in these portions that the concept of a narration ceases to be truthful, and to harmonizing realities are created. These are the worlds of Ontario, like light and dark.
The two separations of a story are just different sides of the same coin, whenever his film seemed to enter a territory that feels unfamiliar, is because we’re seeing the same story just within the ever changing perspective of film on Tria doesn’t settle on one manner of cinematic storytelling. Because he knows that film form is infinitely malleable. The plot continues, it just begins to be told through allegorical means. And if the artist is searching for truth within his medium, it only makes sense that he explores the multiple structures and possibilities of how his story can be told.
Although things may seem to stop for an unnecessary deviation, it’s simply voluntary, his way of demonstrating complete freedom from cinematic norms. This division of voluntary his films demands different approaches in order to comprehend it. However, for his philosophy to fully make sense, it requires the realization that both segments are necessary for one another, because together, they tell one story.
Jim Morrison once said that the appeal of cinema lies in the fear of death, suggesting that the reason we’re so drawn towards the form is the acknowledgement of our own mortality, and the sense of satisfaction we gain from watching what could have been by think this quote goes hand in hand with the filmmaking avant Tria. There are those that regard his work as pessimistic because of its grim subject matter. However, it’s not as though voluntary a goes out of his way to make shocking films. He goes out of his way to make on his films.
When I look around and look at works of art that I like they all contain melancholia to some point, I would describe it as as being a soul to put in the food. You know, if you’ve got to put melancholia on then you have to have some melancholia. that’s a that’s a table to put it in to to make it become a real dish.
For me to understand Lars von Trier is to accept that art is never meant to be completely understood. But we should rejoice in that. There are infinite possibilities yet to be touched upon. And filmmakers like Lars von Trier have the tenacity to explore where others deem dangerous, existing purely through unorthodox methods. biancheria shows us that art has no limitations. To break its boundaries is what it means to be a true artist.