Posts from 16th November 2003

16
Nov 03

WHEN BRANES COLLIDE!

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 329 views

WHEN BRANES COLLIDE!

OK so the Big Bang maybe happened when two M-Branes banged into one another: and there’s another brane-bang on the way some time soon maybe. And at CERN currently they’re building a particle-accelerator big enough that it will prove the existence of Sparticles – haha SPARTICLES!! – by banging stuff into other stuff. Well what if this bang IS the other bang?

(OK I have always been absurdly worried abt this: when I was 13 I wrote a story where scientists created a trans-uranic element so massive that it WAS the universe.)

DOGVILLE

Do You SeePost a comment • 454 views

DOGVILLE One of the more baffling criticisms levelled at Danish enfant terrible, Lars Von Trier (alongside charlatan, bully, brat, misogynist’) is the one about manipulation. Not because it’s untrue, far from it. This is a man who claims to have made ‘Breaking the waves’ with the sole intention of ‘making women cry’, and his media dealings – from the anti-style as ultimate hype which was Dogme 95 to his disingenuous self-promotion in interviews – show Von Trier as a shameless spin doctor. But surely this is his job? Isn’t this why everyone loves the Coens? Yet it would seem Von Trier has committed the unforgivable sin of playing a game more often associated with mainstream American cinema than the loftier aspirations of the European Arthouse.

So what of ‘Dogville’, passed over at Cannes for its apparent anti-Americanism (an accusation Von Trier denies with his customary impish and utterly implausible innocence)? What to make of the audacious Dane’s latest critic-dividing gimmick – a three hour film made entirely in a giant warehouse with ‘scenery’ consisting of chalk lines drawn on the stage to represent the streets and houses of its eponymous small-town setting?

Well, it’s wonderful. Fifteen minutes in, you notice the setting only to marvel at Von Trier’s mastery of space, the dizzying camerawork and lushly beautiful lighting. The acting, from a very impressive all-star cast, is sublime, particularly the ever-more revelatory Kidman. Most surprising of all, perhaps, is that ‘Dogville’ is mordantly, spitefully, laugh-out-loud funny. The final scene, in which Kidman’s heroine finally faces with her ‘mobster connection’ (not wishing to give too much away) finds James Caan barely able to keep a straight face, in one of the most extraordinary pieces of dialogue you will ever see. It’s powerful, provocative and exhilaratingly sardonic. Somewhere, Lars Von Trier is laughing – at hypocrisy, at capitalism, at condescending Liberalism, at human nature. It’s infectious.