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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Five Obstructions (2003)

The Five Obstructions is a experimental documentary where Lars von Trier challenges his friend/mentor Jorgen Leth to re-create his short film, The Perfect Human (1967), five different times - each time with a new set of specific obstructions that he must follow. The Perfect Human portrays a man and a woman, both considered "perfect humans" by the narrator who, in an empty room where they go through the most basic of human activities: jumping, eating, sleeping, dancing and even undressing. An fascinating experimental short that greatly inspired von Trier. Each new set is met with apprehension by Leth but each time he use his challenges to his advantage to create a fresh and original new take on his original idea. Watching Leth's processes of exploring new ground with his film and technique is amazing, achieving so much with a single idea is something we rarely get to see. Once Lars von Trier's true and conflicted intentions are revealed through the 5th obstruction, this brilliantly original documentary depth is revealed.

P.S. Lars von Trier, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro have announced that they plan to do a similar collaboration with a remake(s) of Taxi Driver.

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