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July 25, 2008

Dogme 95 and the Vow of Chastity

Dogme Dogme 95 used to be an avant-garde filmmaking movement. Started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg with the signing of the Dogme 95 Manifesto and the Vow of Chastity. They were later joined by fellow Danish directors Kristian Levring and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen, to form a group sometimes known as the Dogme 95 Collective or the Dogme Brethren. This movement was officially dissolve in 2005, although different filmmakers from all over the world keep using the vow of chastity as a principle, and keep submitting films to the website of the movement, Wes Anderon's Rushmore is Dogme Film # 180. So far there are 276 officially recognize Dogme Films.

The manifesto and its companion vows were drafted by friends and initial co-signators Von Trier and Vinterberg. Vinterberg holds that it took them 45 minutes to finish. The manifesto initially mimics the wording of François Truffaut's 1954 essay Une certaine tendance du cinéma français in Cahiers du Cinema.

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

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."

The first of the Dogme films (Dogme #1) was Vinterberg's 1998 film Festen (The Celebration), which 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. French-American actor and director Jean-Marc Barr was the first non-Dane to direct a Dogme film with 1999's Lovers (Dogme #5), followed by the American Harmony Korine's movie Julien Donkey-Boy (Dogme #6).

VOW OF CHASTITY

1. Filming must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in (if a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found).
2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice verse. (Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed).
3. The camera must be a hand-held camera. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. (The film must not take place where the camera is standing; filming must take place where the action takes place.)
4. The film must be in color. Special lighting is not acceptable. (If there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).
5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
6. The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now.)
8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
9. The final picture must be transferred to the Academy 35mm film, with an aspect ratio of 4:3, that is, not widescreen. (Originally, the requirement was that the film had to be filmed on Academy 35mm film, but the rule was relaxed to allow low-budget productions.)
10. The director must not be credited.

Interview with Lars von Trier

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Comments

wes anderson's rushmore isn't a dogme film, lol


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