Lars von Trier

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier, 2013)

#26 Post by zedz » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:56 pm

warren oates wrote:What would the rest of that imaginary series be about anyway?
Well, it seems to me that the premise of the movie is a classic, reasonably high-concept set-up for a sitcom: there's this elaborate fiction of a boss that doesn't actually exist, then (for various reasons) he suddenly does. Complications ensue. It's basically a variation on Remington Steele, for Christ's sake!

It's all those potential complications, and the precarious maintenance of a ridiculously shaky status quo that generates the humour and could easily be spun out into an ongoing series. How this all ends up getting resolved is probably the least interesting and - unless you're in the hands of a much greater comic genius than von Trier, whose funny side expresses itself much better in outrageous behaviour and character details (just the thing to get a good workout in an ongoing sitcom) than in the finesse of elaborate plotting - the least amusing part of the equation.

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warren oates
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#27 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:35 pm

zedz wrote:
warren oates wrote:What would the rest of that imaginary series be about anyway?
Well, it seems to me that the premise of the movie is a classic, reasonably high-concept set-up for a sitcom: there's this elaborate fiction of a boss that doesn't actually exist, then (for various reasons) he suddenly does. Complications ensue. It's basically a variation on Remington Steele, for Christ's sake!

It's all those potential complications, and the precarious maintenance of a ridiculously shaky status quo that generates the humour and could easily be spun out into an ongoing series. How this all ends up getting resolved is probably the least interesting and - unless you're in the hands of a much greater comic genius than von Trier, whose funny side expresses itself much better in outrageous behaviour and character details (just the thing to get a good workout in an ongoing sitcom) than in the finesse of elaborate plotting - the least amusing part of the equation.
Complications ensue! Idk, Remmington Steele uses a similar premise as a pretext for a rollicking series of on-going adventures. Higgins/Robin Masters on Magnum P.I. is not the protagonist but more of a catalyst with the same sort of false front set-up, but again to provide an excuse for a series of adventures. Neither show rests entirely upon sustaining the on-going dramatic irony of who's really who within a narrow circle like one office. So I still can't see the premise sustaining itself for more than a few episodes. I doubt that anyone would pick up a show like that with such a lackadaisical pitch. What happens in Season 2? Season 5? Is the actual Boss of It All still successfully concealing his identity? And if that's just a pretext, what's the show actually going to be about every episode?

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knives
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#28 Post by knives » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:36 pm

I don't think most European shows go to a season five. Presumably the structure would better fit that than American television.

Zot!
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Re: Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier, 2013)

#29 Post by Zot! » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:42 pm

I'm a fan of the film, but I don't disagree with the set-up being TV fodder. I might argue that this is perhaps too gentle a farce for a Sitcom, which typically requires more punchlines than this delivers.

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warren oates
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#30 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:47 pm

knives wrote:I don't think most European shows go to a season five. Presumably the structure would better fit that than American television.
Well, okay then, using the U.K. Office as a model, where are there 10-12 more hours of material in The Boss of It All and if it would be better if it played out longer how is it so much less successful the way it is now at feature length? Who are the other characters whose stories are getting short changed?
Zot! wrote:I'm a fan of the film, but I don't disagree with the set-up being TV fodder. I might argue that this is perhaps too gentle a farce for a Sitcom, which typically requires more punchlines than this delivers.
I can almost agree with Zot! when he puts it that way, when it's about the weight of the material rather than the timeline of the story arc. There's no exceptional feature-film heaviosity underlying the comedy in Von Trier's film. Still, those who could see The Boss of It All as a bona fide sitcom mystify me. It's like turning The Apartment into a show.

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knives
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#31 Post by knives » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:50 pm

The Apartment actually would make a pretty good show though I think it stands up well enough alone that it doesn't matter.

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warren oates
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#32 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:54 pm

knives wrote:The Apartment actually would make a pretty good show though I think it stands up well enough alone that it doesn't matter.
By which you mean "there are other sitcoms set in offices"? Or "Matthew Weiner likes The Apartment."? I'm still not convinced that there's anything other than a world that interests you and zedz in either idea. An interesting world in which to set a show and one in which many similar shows have been set. Not nearly enough.

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swo17
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#33 Post by swo17 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:58 pm

Since when have having "an interesting world in which to set a show" or hours of legitimately worthwhile material been criteria for developing a TV show?

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warren oates
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#34 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:05 pm

swo17 wrote:Since when have having "an interesting world in which to set a show" or hours of legitimately worthwhile material been criteria for developing a TV show?
Well, if we're talking just any show.... Or any show pitched by an already powerful and successful Hollywood hyphenate? Or any show full of beautiful people? But I thought we were talking about something reasonably close to Von Trier's vision in the feature film as is. In any case, for any show, good bad or in between, an interesting world is necessary but not sufficient.

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zedz
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#35 Post by zedz » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:16 pm

Calm down, Warren. Neither knives or I ever said that we were gagging to see the sitcom version of The Boss of It All, or were trying to pitch it to some unsuspecting network. It's just a sitcommy setup. Whether it could have sustained six seasons and a movie is a moot point. A European six-episode series would have run, what, maybe an hour longer than the movie itself? You really think the crystalline dramatic perfection of the movie couldn't have withstood that much vamping? Almost all the funniest stuff in The Kingdom is vamping on the characters and elaborating on the basic premises, and just about every successful sitcom has a thinner comic premise than this film (a bunch of guys hang out at the same bar; a documentary is being filmed at a paper company; this comedian has some friends; Larry David is a bit of an asshole; Basil Fawlty is the wrong person to run a hotel).

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warren oates
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#36 Post by warren oates » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:27 pm

zedz wrote:Calm down, Warren. Neither knives or I ever said that we were gagging to see the sitcom version of The Boss of It All, or were trying to pitch it to some unsuspecting network. It's just a sitcommy setup. Whether it could have sustained six seasons and a movie is a moot point. A European six-episode series would have run, what, maybe an hour longer than the movie itself? You really think the crystalline dramatic perfection of the movie couldn't have withstood that much vamping? Almost all the funniest stuff in The Kingdom is vamping on the characters and elaborating on the basic premises, and just about every successful sitcom has a thinner comic premise than this film (a bunch of guys hang out at the same bar; a documentary is being filmed at a paper company; this comedian has some friends; Larry David is a bit of an asshole; Basil Fawlty is the wrong person to run a hotel).
Sitcom-y true. Better in sitcom doses (which I suppose is possible) or length (even the shortest possible run of, say, 6 half hour episodes) is all I've been disputing. The Boss of It All has a rather high concept premise which feels right for the end result, work of towering genius or not. A thinner premise and a thicker world and deeper pool of supporting players is what works better in those other sticoms you're referencing, many of which I'm sure I love as much as you. I suppose part of what this boils down to is that the protagonist of The Boss of It All doesn't seem interesting enough to me to sustain an episodic on-going story, at least not one that either survives his unmasking or keeps it going for much longer.

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knives
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Re: Nymph()maniac (Lars von Trier, 2013)

#37 Post by knives » Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:12 pm

I can't find a generalized von Trier thread so sorry for posting this here. Anyways I was curious if there has been any english friendly release of his D-Day films?

Zot!
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Re: Nymph()maniac (Lars von Trier, 2013)

#38 Post by Zot! » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:38 am

knives wrote:I can't find a generalized von Trier thread so sorry for posting this here. Anyways I was curious if there has been any english friendly release of his D-Day films?
I don't think there was ANY release of this, except I saw something on the Zentropa download site, which now appears to be "lukket" but it was an edited together version of the seperate story threads.

It was a grand experiment, and great TV, but I doubt it made for a great film.

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knives
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#39 Post by knives » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:37 am

Oh, it was probably not good, but the basic idea seems interesting. I imagine duplicating the experience on DVD would have been hard though. Bluray might be able to handle it though?

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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#40 Post by Zot! » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:31 pm

knives wrote:Oh, it was probably not good, but the basic idea seems interesting. I imagine duplicating the experience on DVD would have been hard though. Bluray might be able to handle it though?
Yeah, that would make a fun Blu-Ray. The idea that it was shot live on New Years eve and broadcast across multiple channels live really made it a novelty. A friend taped parts of the original broadcast for me, and it's really odd. Lots of downtime of people commuting to locations, as they actually had to get around CPH and hit their "marks".

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colinr0380
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#41 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:33 pm

I wonder if they could create a Timecode-style DVD of it running in a number of different screens to represent the different channels! I'd be curious to see D-Day too if it were possible, especially if there really are 'commuting' moments, as the moments where the characters were left trying to get from place to place amongst real traffic or pedestrians in order to hit their next cue created some of the most exciting moments in the Mike Figgis film.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Zot!
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#42 Post by Zot! » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:42 pm

colinr0380 wrote:I wonder if they could create a Timecode-style DVD of it running in a number of different screens to represent the different channels! I'd be curious to see D-Day too if it were possible, especially if there really are 'communiting' moments, as the moments where the characters were left trying to get from place to place amongst real traffic or pedestrians in order to hit their next cue created some of the most exciting moments in the Mike Figgis film.
The splitscreen was actually on one of the channels originally. I liked it more than Timecode, from what I saw.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#43 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:43 am

And on top of that there were two more channels showing live behind-the-scenes footage! Theoretically you replicate the televised experience on DVD (it's possible to author a DVD so that switching between angles also switches the audio track), but BD would be necessary for space reasons alone—they'd have to encode it in SD to get it all on one disc without the quality going to shit, but I'm 99% sure it was produced in SD anyway.

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djproject
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Lars von Trier

#44 Post by djproject » Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:29 pm

In general, I find Lars interesting for two reasons:

1) He understands that a creative result comes from a balance of freedom and restriction.

2) Even after over thirty years of making feature films, he keeps finding new ways to infuriate people (or piss off if you want to be crass =] ).

Take the latest, which was his first public statement since his self-imposed silence after the 2011 Cannes press faux pas:
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/lars- ... 201366846/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So ... any other thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Threats? =]

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Koukol
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#45 Post by Koukol » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:08 pm

I think the worst thing a film can be is boring.
SOME of Trier's work is anything but that for me.

Yes, Trier is heavy handed but I don't mind and actually like it.

His films like THE IDIOTS, BREAKING and DANCER get a reaction out of me much like SALO and DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE did.
When I was young INDISCREET pissed me off so much cause' it broke all my expectations of film.
I hated thinking he was making fun of people expectations.
Today...I love it.

So, sure DANCER is WAY over the top but it still brings me to tears and IDIOTS still pisses me off.
Last edited by Koukol on Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

criterion10
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#46 Post by criterion10 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:22 pm

Koukol wrote:INDISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE
Not to be a pedant, but I think you mean Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

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Koukol
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#47 Post by Koukol » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:23 pm

criterion10 wrote:
Koukol wrote:INDISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE
Not to be a pedant, but I think you mean Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.
Corrected...
Cheers.

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swo17
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#48 Post by swo17 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:27 pm

Koukol wrote:I think the worst thing a film can be is boring.
There's no such thing as a boring film though, only a disengaged viewer. Being a shock artist doesn't automatically elevate a director above others who employ less controversial methods.

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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#49 Post by Zot! » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:51 pm

swo17 wrote:
Koukol wrote:I think the worst thing a film can be is boring.
There's no such thing as a boring film though, only a disengaged viewer. Being a shock artist doesn't automatically elevate a director above others who employ less controversial methods.
I don't disagree that shock is irrelevant, and of diminishing returns. I find Trier's self-effacing humor to be a far more important trait. However, I vehemently disagree concerning boring films, which abound.

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swo17
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Re: The Strange Case of Lars von Trier

#50 Post by swo17 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:59 pm

Oh, I think lots of films are boring too, usually ones that hordes of people call "awesome." But this says more about me than it does about the films. Calling a film "boring" or "pretentious" always does.

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