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The Boss of it All

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#1 Tony Watkins

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 08:35 AM

Lucy Muss interviews Lars Von Trier:

LM: Did you enjoy being out of control?

LVT: Oh yes, it was wonderful. The only time we had a problem was with the elephant. . . .

LM: But where did you get the particular idea for this film?

LVT: I got it from really wanting to have a boss of it all to help me through my life. When somebody else has put up rules then you can really be free. I am very romantic about communism even still, but I know terrible things happened.

LM: This could be seen as a religious metaphor, too, about people who believe in God and then find out he doesn't exist? Are you religious? LVT: Erm (he looks to Jens Albinus). Jens? ( JA: That's my department.

LVT: His father's a priest so. No, I don't think so, but I pray every morning.

LM: But didn't you convert to Catholicism?

LVT: Yes I did. I did a lot of strange things. But I am a bad Catholic that's for sure. Although I think it's difficult to believe in evil. But that's a long story: let's not talk about that.

#2 Stephen Lamb

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 02:50 PM

Here's the trailer.

#3 Persona


    You said you'd wait... 'Til the end of the world.

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 10:36 PM

After finally seeing this, I can see why so many reviewers think it's only for LvT enthusiasts. You definitely need to see it if you've seen many or all of his other works. However, it's certainly not required viewing unless you want to see what Automavision can pull off when in the hands as "The Boss of it All."

"We were just happy when we saw the movie that we were still in it," recalls the actor Casper Christensen.

One afternoon, everyone waited around for three hours, because the program kept pointing the camera at a blank wall.

This was hysterical. From reading this article I am more interested in the "making of" documentary than the actual film. I did appreciate the way his camera tricks actually contributed to the plot of Dogville, but automavision sounds very distracting.

For anyone who hasn't heard of this trick, the director sets up the obstruction by bowing to the computer and allowing it to make the final choices on exactly what gets filmed. And unfortunately, at least here, it doesn't work too well. It doesn't look "artsy," as much as it looks "missed." Seriously, there were shots where it was like, "OK, where are all the people?"

I'm sure Automavision might have it's uses, sometime, somewhere -- but it can't make an entire film very well, at least not at this point.

The story itself is pretty clever, and it did make me laugh a few times here and there. And it was fun to hear Trier as the narrator, as he jested about the comedy and himself. Jens Albinus (most known as Stoffer in Dogme #2 - The Idiots, but also well known for his roles in Per Fly's B├Žnken --the first in the "Class Trilogy", Dancer in the Dark , and as Carsten in Dogme # 34 - Forbrydelser, or In Your Hands) is downright hilarious as the tortured actor Kristoffer/Svend, who is hired as an actor to come into a small film company as the president they never knew, who always lived far away in the states. Peter Gantzler (Dogme #12 - Italian for Beginners) plays Ravn, the company's owner ("director") who has hired Kristoffer to be Svend and try to pull off the miraculous "role" by acting as the "Boss of it All" none of the employees had ever met before.

LvT tries to edit out some of the problems he had with the Automavision, and the result goes from a mess to a choppy mess, which, depending on who you are and how you look at film, can really be quite disctracting.

Still, it was a fun experiement and I'm glad I finally gave it a try. I'm certain I've tapped into something when noting LvT's tendancies to be entirely preoccupied with law, rules, binding and loosening, how to break them, how to bend them, who gets to and why. If not a sadist, it is very likely he enjoys some form of S&M. Or maybe that's a better way to look at his filmmaking. If one can have an S&M sex life, I'm sure directors can have an S&M film style, and want to play the role from both sides. LvT is this director.

The other thing I realized with The Boss of it All is that this is such a quixotically personal reason for filmmaking that it can defeat the purpose of the audience, if it is even intended for an audience. It shows a kind of sadistic nature toward the intended viewer, as nothing is made for their purposes, but I suppose the hope for cash is still in the background somewhere. Yeah, this does seem rather selfish. And I may have to readjust my understanding of The Five Obstructions now as well, for perhaps it is also entirely too selfish a reason to make an average audience that is not as familiar with LvT endure. I may finally now be pulling that out of my personal Top 10 from the decade. I've said it a hundred times here before -- that is the toughest list to make.

One piece of trivia I found fascinating:

A number of visual elements were hidden in the danish distribution of this film. These visual elements, called "Lookeys", were part of a contest to find them all. The first finder was to get a price and a role as an extra in an upcoming film.

It seems to have been a fun picture to have been involved with, which is pretty cool considering some of the nightmare experiences other actors working with LvT have relayed in the past.

Edited by Persona, 27 November 2009 - 10:42 PM.

#4 Persona


    You said you'd wait... 'Til the end of the world.

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 04:14 PM

I saw a mountain of $4.00 The Boss of it All DVDs next to the frozen foods at Jewel-Osco the other day.