Talk about Dogville

>Well, the film clearly isn't intended as realism

No, I suppose the anti-Americanism is there to be purely provocative (it doesn't come out of any recognizable or legitimate source of complaint that I can see--mostly I think from hearsay, secondhand). Which is why I enjoyed it as it is, hanging there, a piece of masturbation really, with no real connection to reality (not exactly a bad thing: I like masturbatory pieces as much as any--maybe more than most).

>Alienation, presumably

The Brechtian mode, presumably. Brecht did it with labeled objects and idealized, unparticularized locatons, props, characters, something Von Triers tries to do here. Then he adds the jump-cut editing, which isn't really called for--we already have the Brecht devices, we're already alienated.

The editing style seems more of a fallback to his previous style from Breaking the Waves onwards, a sort of default style. It's a nice way of evoking verite cinema that isn't really verite cinema, but when doing what is essentially a theater piece, well, I don't think it makes sense.

As for the camera style--some critic called "fluid" but it's more woozy than anything, swish pans when they aren't really called for, more calling attention to itself than trying to create a point of view. Actually I prefer Thomas Vinterberg's handling of the camera in The Celebration (tho I thought that was also conceptually and psychologically a fraud--maybe my favorite Doggie Style filmmakers aren't really Dogme filmmakers, the Dardannes brothers, Belgians who just make their movies, and don't do fancy ironic publicity campaigns while making them).

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