Dogme 95 Cinema Series to Premiere at MAD on Occasion of Movement’s 20th Anniversary

The Director Must Not Be Credited: 20 Years of Dogme 95 explores lasting effects of iconoclastic movement 

 

New York, NY (January 21, 2015)

This March, the Museum of Arts and Design is pleased to present The Director Must Not Be Credited: 20 Years of Dogme 95, a cinema series exploring the enduring legacy of the game-changing film movement. Premiering on March 13, 2015, the twentieth anniversary of Danish filmmakers Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg’s revolutionary manifesto, the series features nine, rarely screened films recognized by the Dogme 95 committee—many of which never received US distributions. Together, these films highlight the growth of Dogme 95 into a worldwide movement that spanned genres and forever changed the ways in which narrative feature films are made.

On March 13, 1995, Lars von Trier showered the audience of a conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of cinema with pamphlets outlining his newly crafted Dogme 95 manifesto. Co-written with fellow filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, the manifesto, dubbed the Vow of Chastity, outlined ten dogmatic rules that encouraged a return to traditional values of story, acting and theme, embraced emerging video technology, and banned the use of elaborate special effects in cinema. At its core, the Dogme manifesto aimed to restore a transparency to filmmaking and challenge mainstream cinematic conventions of the time.

“Dogme 95 is arguably one of the most important cinematic movements since the French New Wave,” says Jake Yuzna, MAD’s Director of Public Programs. “Either by adhering to or breaking from the movement’s rules, each of the Dogme 95 filmmakers crafted a distinct narrative style that helped alter the language of cinematic storytelling today. Dogme 95’s twentieth anniversary is an excellent opportunity for cinephiles to reflect upon its lasting effects across the cinematic landscape.”

Beginning with Thomas Vinterberg’s The Celebration (Festen), the inaugural film to be recognized as part of Dogme 95, the series presents nine international films with introductions from guest speakers. Screenings include Lars von Trier’s rarely presented The Idiots (Idioterne), one of the first feature films to be shot entirely on digital cameras; Harmony Korine’s iconic Julien Donkey-Boy, which showcases Dogme 95’s more candid approach to capturing the human condition; and Annette K. Olesen’s In Your Hands (Forbrydelser), the final film to be recognized as part of the movement before the group disbanded in 2005.

About the Series
The Director Must Not Be Credited: 20 Years of Dogme 95 is organized by MAD’s Director of Public Programs Jake Yuzna. All screenings are $10 general, $5 MAD Members and students with valid ID.

Tickets and more information are available by calling 1-800-838-3006 or visiting http://madmuseum.org/series/director-must-not-be-credited-20-years-dogme-95.  

Screening Schedule
The Celebration (Festen)
Friday, March 13, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Thomas Vinterberg
1998, 105 min
With Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen and Thomas Bo Larsen

The inaugural film of the Dogme 95 movement, The Celebration (Festen) chronicles a Danish family’s gathering in celebration of their father’s sixtieth birthday. As the family settles into a black-tie dinner, the eldest son’s speech reveals a family secret that threatens to unravel the network of relationships holding them together. Written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg, co-author of the Dogme 95 manifesto, the film is shot in the movement’s trademark realistic style.

The Idiots (Idioterne)
Friday, March 20, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Lars von Trier
1998, 114 min
With Bodil Jørgensen and Jens Albinus 

Highlighting director Lars von Trier’s signature mix of sensation and sensitivity, The Idiots (Idioterne) was the second official Dogme 95 film. The film portrays a group of Danish adults who live on a commune and challenge bourgeois ideology by connecting with their “inner idiots” in public. Among the first feature films shot entirely on digital cameras, The Idiots (Idioterne) was created through an expansive improvisation process, with the cast and crew living together on a commune during filming. Today, the film continues to resonate as a potent reflection on the limitations of counter cultural movements.

The King is Alive
Friday, March 27, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Kristian Levring
2001, 109 min
With Miles Anderson, Romane Bohringer and Jennifer Jason Leigh

The fourth official film to become a part of the Dogme 95 movement, The King is Alive considers the space between fiction and reality. When a group of tourists is stranded in the barren African desert, they seek shelter in an abandoned town. As their hopes of rescue diminish, the group is persuaded to restage Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear. Their portrayal of the King’s decent into madness threatens to plunge the group into additional turmoil.

Lovers
Thursday, April 2, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Jean-Marc Barr
1999, 100 min
With Élodie Bouchez, Sergej Trifunović and Dragan Nikolic 

Recognized as the first French Dogme 95 film, Lovers depicts the whirlwind relationship between timid Jeanne (Élodie Bouchez) and spirited painter Dragan (Sergej Trifunović), who meet in a bookshop. Despite language and cultural differences, the couple’s love continues to grow in a state of bliss, until a routine identification check exposes Dragan as an illegal immigrant. Lovers uses the tenets of the Dogme 95 movement to construct a candid portrayal of European immigration and border politics at the end of the twentieth century.

Interview
Saturday, April 11, 2015, 3 p.m.
Dir. Daniel H. Byun
2000, 107 min
With Jung-Jae Lee, Eun-ha Shim and Jae-hyeon Jo

The only recognized Dogme 95 film from Asia, Interview is a finely crafted South Korean love story that explores how fiction is used to keep one’s most tender feelings safe. While conducting an interview with the actress Young-Hee, a film director finds himself falling in love. As the interviews progress, the layers of fiction in Young-Hee’s tales begin to fall away. The result is a tender portrait of what happens when we begin to reveal the naked truths about ourselves to others.

Julien Donkey-Boy
Thursday, April 16, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Harmony Korine
1999, 99 min
With Ewen Bremmer, Cholë Sevigny and Werner Herzog

The first American film considered part of the Dogme 95 movement, Harmony Korine’s Julien Donkey-Boy uses expressive MiniDV cinematography and pitch-perfect performances to capture the tale of a young undiagnosed schizophrenic man, Julien. With an unforgettable supporting cast, including iconic German director Werner Herzog as Julien’s father and Cholë Sevigny as his sister, Julien Donkey-Boy showcases the many ways in which the Dogme 95 movement expanded cinema’s ability to capture the human condition.

Italian for Beginners (Italiensk for begyndere)
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Lone Scherfig
2000, 118 min
With Anders W. Berthelsen, Anette Støvelbæk and Ann Eleonora Jørgensen

This lighthearted romantic comedy depicts six single adults who seek to cope with their stressful or unfulfilling lives by registering for an Italian language course in a Danish suburb. When their instructor dies unexpectedly, the group decides to continue their coursework and discovers a newfound approach to life and love. Winner of Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, Italian for Beginners (Italiensk for begyndere) is the most profitable Scandinavian film ever made. 

Open Hearts (Elsker dig for evigt)
Friday, April 24, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Susanne Bier
2002, 113 min
With Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Sonja Richter

Winner of the International Critics Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and both the Bodil and Robert awards for Best Danish Film, Open Hearts (Elsker dig for evigt) captures the aftermath of seemingly uncontrollable forces on two couples’ lives. Mads Mikkelsen (best known for his performance in Hannibal and Casino Royale) stars as surgeon Niels, whose fidelity is tested when his wife hits a young man with her car.

In Your Hands (Forbrydelser)
Friday, May 8, 2015, 7 p.m.
Dir. Annette K. Olesen
2004, 101 min
With Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, Trine Dyrholm, Nikolaj Kopernikus

Reflecting the ethos of Dogme 95, In Your Hands (Forbrydelser) is the final film to be recognized by the movement. When Anna (Ann Eleonora Jørgensen of Italian for Beginners) is hired as chaplain for a Danish women’s prison she is faced with the arrival of Kate (Trine Dyrholm of The Celebration), who becomes known throughout the prison for performing miracles on the other inmates. Confronted with Kate’s miraculous deeds, Anna must examine her own belief structure and consider the possibility that mystery and miracles can be found in the simplest of places.

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