catapult magazine

catapult magazine




Mar 07 2005
12:28 am

Oh, that. I’ve heard it called something else, but the name eludes me. Something with a 5 in it. I’d also recommend Italian for Beginners in that genre. The difference between these films and Dogville is that, while the “Dogma” films I’ve seen use only natural light and handheld cameras, Dogville uses spare theatrical lighting and on occasion throws in a stationary or moving shot where the camera is obviously mounted, with the rest apparently on handheld.
Thanks for the recommendations.

It’s actually not technically Dogma, it’s Dogme 95.

Dogville definitely doesn’t conform to the Dogme95 rules, which are as follows:

1. Shooting 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).

Dogville was shot on a soundstage, with no location – it’s mostly imaginary, though there are some props used.

2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. (Music must not be used unless it occurs where the scene is being shot).

There is a lot of overlaid sound in Dogville, such as doors closing where no door exists, etc. Also there is use of non-diagetic music, like Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus, which is used to amazing effect.

3. The camera must be hand-held. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. (The film must not take place where the camera is standing; shooting must take place where the film takes place).

As far as I recall, Dogville was shot mostly handheld, except for some crane shots of the town from above.

4. The film must be in colour. 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).

Dogville is in color, but they obviously didn’t shoot with available light solely, because they shot on a soundstage, not on location.

5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.

There’s a brilliant bit of optical work with Grace in the back of the apple truck. Just gorgeous.

6. The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)

Um…no comment. :) Let’s just say Dogville doesn’t comply with this rule either.

7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now.)

Dogville takes place there and then (e.g. in America during the Depression, not Denmark during the 21st century)

8. Genre movies are not acceptable.

I don’t know what genre you’d put Dogville in, put it’s definitely not a straightforward narrative.

9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.

I am not sure about this one.

10. The director must not be credited.
Yeah, von Trier was definitely credited. :)

I think it’s interesting because Dogville is in some ways the complete opposite of the Dogme films. The Dogme rules were introduced to rid films of artifice and “short cuts” and just have realism and naturalism as much as possible, creating a filmed fictional version of “real life” in essence. But Dogville is all about being theatrical, unrealistic, filmic…it reminds you at every turn that it’s make believe. I think that’s really fascinating… it’s sort of what Baz Luhrmann did with his red curtain trilogy (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge) but taken to an even more intense level of artificiality and distancing the audience, constantly reminding them “this is a movie.”