Lars von Trier

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Lars von Trier (Danish pronunciation: [ˈlɑːs fon ˈtʁiːɐ̯]; born Lars Trier; 30 April 1956)[2] is a Danish film director and screenwriter. He is closely associated with the Dogme 95 collective, although his own films have taken a variety of different approaches. He is known for his female-centric parables and his exploration of controversial subject matter.[3]
Von Trier began making his own films at the age of 11 after receiving a Super-8 camera as a gift, and his first publicly released film was an experimental short called The Orchid Gardener, in 1977. His first feature film came seven years later, The Element of Crime, in 1984. As of 2010, he has directed a further 9 feature films, 5 short films and 4 Television productions.[3]
He has been married twice and is currently married to Bente Frøge.[4] Von Trier suffers periodically from depression, as well as various fears and phobias, including an intense fear of flying. As he himself once put it, "Basically, I'm afraid of everything in life, except filmmaking".[5]

Contents

Early life and career

Lars Trier was born in Kongens Lyngby, north of Copenhagen, the son of Inger Trier (née Høst). He had believed that his biological father was Ulf Trier, but his mother revealed to him on her deathbed that he had been conceived as a result of an affair she had with her employer, Fritz Michael Hartmann. His parents considered themselves both communists and committed nudists,[4] and the young Lars went on several childhood holidays to nudist camps. They regarded the disciplining of children as reactionary. Trier has noted that he was brought up in an atheist family, and that although Ulf Trier was Jewish, he was not religious. He did not discover the identity of his biological father until 1989. His parents did not allow much room in their household for "feelings, religion, or enjoyment", and also refused to make any rules for their children,[6] with complex results for von Trier's personality and development.[7] The young Lars found in cinema an outlet to the outside world through which he could learn about subjects otherwise forbidden from his study by his parents. He began making his own films at the age of 11 after receiving a Super-8 camera as a gift and continued to be involved in independent moviemaking throughout his high school years.[3]

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