The Five Obstructions

Danish director Lars Von Trier (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Breaking the Waves) loves rule-based aesthetics, so he sets out a series of "obstructions," simple rule-based exercises, for genius filmmaker Jørgen Leth. Leth must remake his classic short film The Perfect Human five times under different constraining conditions. And each time he does so, he produces another mini-masterpiece. Unfortunately, most of Five Obstructions is given over to showing the relationship between Von Trier and Leth, and most of the short films are cut out. But when they do appear, they make sitting through the boring conversations and documentary sections almost worthwhile. An interesting analysis of experimentalism in art that’s derailed by its own self-absorption, Five Obstructions nonetheless contains the seeds of an amazing film.


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