77. Lars Von Trier
LARS VON TRIER
ANTICHRIST, BREAKING THE WAVES, DANCER IN THE DARK, DOGVILLE
Over the last 20+ years, no one has done more to make the world of international cinema interesting than controversial Danish director Lars Von Trier. Totally incapable of self-censorship (cinematically or otherwise), Trier is a loveable motherfucker who’s myriad eccentricities have made him a polarizing figure both onscreen and off-. But no amount of aviaphobia or absent-minded pro-Nazism can erase the fact that, when he steps behind the camera, LvT is fucking on point. His stunning feature debut, 1984’s The Element of Crime, captures what it feels like to be inside a dream far more acutely than anything by David Lynch or Luis Bunuel, and no less than Martin Scorcese himself named von Trier’s 1996 miserablist masterpiece Breaking the Waves one of his top 10 films of the 1990s. And the rest of his filmography reads like laundry list of crackpot experiments—The Idiots, Dancer in the Dark, The Five Obstructions, Dogville. Some of these experiments work, and some definitely do not. But either way, they’re incredibly fun to talk about.
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