The movie “Dogville” was greeted with “rapturous applause” at the Cannes film festival yesterday. The movie, starring Nicole Kidman, is set in a small American town in the 1930’s. In a shocking departure from movie-industry norms, the film is devoted to showing what a horrible place America is:
“Kidman plays Grace, a mysterious woman who arrives in the town, Dogville, one day to escape gangster pursuers. The townspeople, reluctantly at first, take her in and hide her and she slowly wins them over with her candid personality and good nature.
“But then the film stirs the waters of character and morality, and the movie becomes a portrayal of the murkier side of human nature as Grace increasingly becomes a prisoner of Dogville’s residents and their desires.
The depravity of some of the characters wasn’t specific to America, von Trier said, but it was certainly an impression foreigners like him had of the country.
“‘I feel like an American actually: Ich bin ein American,’ he said to laughter.
“‘I would love a free America because I see a lot of shit in America from over here… (But) I don’t know anything about America, I’m just a mirror and this is what happens.’
“The wild welcome for the film in Cannes, where the chill wind blowing between Paris and Washington over the US invasion of Iraq has faded but has not been forgotten, augurs well for critics’ write-ups, but its bizarre lack of set and traditional structure could well scare audiences away.”
Yeah, that’s the bright side. The movie is filmed like a play with no set to speak of. So, at least in America–which, apparently unbeknownst to Mr. von Trier, is still free–movie-goers will avoid it like the plague.
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