Dogme 95

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Dogme 95 is an avant-garde filmmaking movement started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, who created the "Dogme 95 Manifesto" and the "Vow of Chastity". These were rules to create filmmaking based on the traditional values of story, acting and theme, and excluding the use of elaborate special effects or technology.[1] They were later joined by fellow Danish directors Kristian Levring and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, forming the Dogme 95 Collective or the Dogme Brethren. Dogme is the Danish word for dogma.

The genre gained international appeal partly because of its accessibility. It sparked an interest in unknown filmmakers by suggesting that one can make a recognised film without being dependent on commissions or huge Hollywood budgets, depending on European government subsidies and television stations instead. The movement has been criticised for being a disguised attempt to gain media attention. Dogme was initiated to cause a stir and to make filmmakers and audiences re-think the art, effect and essence of filmmaking.

Contents

History

The manifesto and its companion vows were drafted by friends and initial co-signators Von Trier and Vinterberg. Vinterberg said that they wrote the pieces in 45 minutes.[2] The manifesto initially mimics the wording of François Truffaut's 1954 essay Une certaine tendance du cinéma français in Cahiers du cinéma.

They announced the Dogme movement on March 22, 1995 in Paris, at Le cinéma vers son deuxième siècle conference. The cinema world had gathered to celebrate the first century of motion pictures and contemplate the uncertain future of commercial cinema. Called upon to speak about the future of film, Lars von Trier showered a bemused audience with red pamphlets announcing Dogme 95.

In response to criticism, Von Trier and Vinterberg have both stated that they just wanted to establish a new extreme: "In a business of extremely high budgets, we figured we should balance the dynamic as much as possible."[citation needed]

The first of the Dogme films (Dogme #1) was Vinterberg's 1998 film Festen (The Celebration). It was critically acclaimed and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year. Lars von Trier's Dogme film, Idioterne (The Idiots), also premiered at Cannes that year but was less successful. Since the two films were released, other directors have made films based on Dogme principles. French-American actor and director Jean-Marc Barr was the first non-Dane to direct a Dogme film: Lovers (1999) (Dogme #5). The American Harmony Korine's movie Julien Donkey-Boy (Dogme #6) also was considered a Dogme film.

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