I see that Lars von Trier has stepped away from making films for the time being. Thank god for that, for me, his films somehow manage to combine the worst excesses of ‘arthouse’ pretentiousness, wankiness of theatre and reductive nonsense that is just so mind numbingly dull of so much ‘European’ mediation on ‘America’ lately.
A quick rundown of the movies that I've seen:
Dogville, Manderlay and Dancer in the Dark fit the rant below, in my eyes. I’ll be honest though and admit that I couldn’t finish watching the first two of that list (life is too short).
The Idiots was just dire. A bad film school experiment, European middle class-guilt nonsense.
Zentropa/Europa was a more interesting visual experiment, but again, more ‘art’ than ‘cinema’ (in the bad way).
Breaking the Waves I liked. The main character was annoying, but as a bit of melodrama wrapped up in art, it was easy to sit through and have a think about.
I’ve seen bits of The Kingdom, but it never really got me (although I didn’t really try hard to get into it). I know that the brother likes it.
Von Trier to me is like a film equivalent of John Zorn, Deleuze/Guattari, and Italo Calvino. I understand what they’re doing, and I appreciate what they’re trying to say (for the most part), I just think that it isn’t nearly as profound or interesting as they obviously do.
Seriously, to be reflective, weighty or ‘important’ doesn’t actually have to be tedious.