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Tiny Little Lars

Joanna Kavenna: Von Trier’s Provocations, 15 April 2004

Trier on von Trier 
edited by Stig Björkman, translated by Neil Smith.
Faber, 288 pp., £16.99, February 2004, 0 571 20707 3
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directed by Lars vonTrier.
May 2003
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... The provocation begins with the name. Lars Trier, a boy from Denmark, went to film school and changed his name to the more aristocratic Lars vonTrier. In Trier on von Trier the question of the name opens the account of the director’s life ...

No Dancing, No Music

Alex Clark: New Puritans, 2 November 2000

All Hail the New Puritans 
edited by Nicholas Blincoe and Matt Thorne.
Fourth Estate, 204 pp., £10, September 2000, 1 84115 345 1
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... and is loosely modelled on the manifesto of Dogme 95, the collective of film-makers headed by Lars vonTrier who took on the excesses of Hollywood with a ‘vow of chastity’ that included the use of hand-held cameras and the rejection of elaborate costumes, lighting and music. The rules contain nothing especially ...

You’ve got three minutes

J. Hoberman: Sitting for Warhol, 20 July 2006

Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Vol. I 
by Callie Angell.
Abrams, 319 pp., £35, April 2006, 0 8109 5539 3
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... to consider practitioners of cinéma vérité like Frederick Wiseman or provocateurs like Lars vonTrier, the entirety of home video, porn, surveillance, webcams and reality TV, or the nature of camera-induced celebrity, without reference to Warhol’s work. He has had a retroactive effect on film history as ...

Reality Is Worse

Adam Mars-Jones: Lydia Davis, 17 April 2014

Can’t and Won’t 
by Lydia Davis.
Hamish Hamilton, 304 pp., £16.99, April 2014, 978 0 241 14664 4
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... invention to a minimum. Don’t develop. Don’t explore relationships. The Dogme manifesto – Lars vonTrier was the most famous of the signatories, though he didn’t make the most successful film made according to Dogme principles, which was Thomas Vinterberg’s Festen – wasn’t really a vow of chastity but ...

Pink and Bare

Bee Wilson: Nicole Kidman, 8 February 2007

Nicole Kidman 
by David Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 311 pp., £18.99, September 2006, 0 7475 7710 2
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... might ask whether Kidman merits such a tribute – at least for now. Lauren Bacall, her co-star in Lars vonTrier’s Dogville (2003), denied that Kidman was a ‘screen legend’: ‘She can’t be a legend, you have to be older.’ Thomson is not dealing in legend, though, but in the power of desire. Kidman isn’t ...


Jonathan Rée: Automata, 9 May 2002

Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen 
by Barbara Maria Stafford and Frances Terpak.
Getty, 416 pp., £30, February 2002, 0 89236 590 0
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The Secret Life of Puppets 
by Victoria Nelson.
Harvard, 350 pp., £20.50, February 2002, 0 674 00630 5
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Living Dolls: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life 
by Gaby Wood.
Faber, 278 pp., £12.99, March 2002, 0 571 17879 0
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... Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft rubbing shoulders with Kafka and Bruno Schulz, and Will Self and Lars vonTrier with Carrington and Anna Kavan, as well as St Augustine, Giordano Bruno, Philip K. Dick, Walt Disney and J.R.R. Tolkien. Her cast of ‘imagined puppets’ ranges from the entertainers in Ben Jonson’s ...

Like a Manta Ray

Jenny Turner: The Entire History of Sex, 22 October 2015

The Argonauts 
by Maggie Nelson.
Graywolf, 143 pp., £23, May 2015, 978 1 55597 707 8
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... up in this context tend to be better known to mainstream audiences: Neil LaBute, Michael Haneke, Lars VonTrier. But it’s Nelson’s thoughts about the stuff that flickers in the middle that bears most directly on writers of memoir. The idea, for example, that if we can see the artist is suffering, that makes it OK ...

Blowing over the top of a bottle of San Pellegrino

Adam Mars-Jones: Protest Dance Pop, 15 December 2005

Plat du Jour 
by Matthew Herbert.
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... for this exercise is the Dogme 95 manifesto issued by a group of Danish filmmakers including Lars vonTrier and Thomas Vinterberg, but the similarities are not close. The Dogme ‘vow of chastity’ was really a vow of poverty, a way of making films cheaply without giving an inch of the high aesthetico-moral ...


Fredric Jameson, 8 November 2018

My Struggle: Book 6. The End 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Martin Aitken and Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 1153 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 84655 829 0
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... a similarly desperate youth. At least he does not go as far as his unhappy Danish contemporary, Lars vonTrier, who effectively ostracised himself by observing that he could sometimes understand Hitler (as though anyone could understand!). But all of this – the essay or essays scattered throughout this enormous ...

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