Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dogville

Dogville might not be my personal favorite, but I wouldn't argue with anyone who said it it's the best movie ever made.
It combined everything I love about the theater with everything great about independent and foreign films.
I have forgotten most of the movies I've watched over the past years but I still remember the first time I watched Dogville and the second time I watched it, with my parents, who were scandalized but of course very enthralled with the allegorical subject matter. They were yelling by the end of the movie, very into it. That says a lot about the film's gripping pathos. Hard to watch for multiple reasons, but it earns its climax - psychological horror unparalleled.
I've often heard people accuse #LarsVonTrier of being misogynistic. Honestly, I don't know...the only films I've seen were Dogville, #Melancholia(sort of anticlimactic), #AntiChrist (visceral, powerful imagery like a David Lynch film but with even more sexualized violence), and the sequel to Dogville which was fairly ridiculous and hardly worth remembering the name of. I actually found his last feature, #Nymphomaniac to be surprisingly feminist in its final act.
I don't know much about the director personally and his films are hit and miss, so I don't know if Lars is the internet's public enemy #1 or not.
I know Dogville is the definitive Anti-American film. An allegory so deep most of the cast didn't even get the joke.
It's very long and minimalist but it's very much anti-imperialist America, which is why I liked it. It's classified as an international film since Lars is Danish, the production companies are multiple countries, and the cast is British / American. The movie got pretty savage reviews by the US media, mostly decrying the fact that it was vitriolic, anti-American and bitter. That was one of my coming-of-age moments when I realized most critics don't know what they're talking about. Since when is passion in art a bad thing?
Few films, outside of the torture porn genre, will fill you with as much righteous fury as Dogville. The film is an exceptional allegory for mankind's gross sins against his own people. As much as we would all like to believe that the film is about man's suffering and the injustice of mob mentality, there is one important point we're all missing. This is about your country! Dogville is the harshest criticism of American values I've ever seen and that is strictly because of its allegorical simplicity and PG-rated content that still feels horrific somehow.
Dogville is a triumph of manic depressive, prejudicial rage. I think Dogville is a movie that disillusions you and brings you to a new level of consciousness. Like Kubrick, another influence of mine, I think Lars' voice, his distrust of humanity, is a strong voice in my head I have yet to shake.

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