The King is Alive (Levring, 2000): Ritzy Cinema, 6pm
The Ritzy are putting on a terrific Dogme 95 season this week. Here is their introduction to this excellent season: Dogme 95 was an avant-garde filmmaking movement conceived in 1995 by
Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. Together they
created the Dogme 95 Manifesto, which comprised of a set of rules
designed to produce a pure filmmaking style based on the traditional
values of narrative, performance and core themes, and to reject the use
of elaborate post-production modifications. For the first time ever, we
bring you a selection of films made according to this manifesto. Join us
as we undress filmmaking on the big screen. All screenings will be
introduced by a film industry professional who has been associated with
or inspired by Dogme 95. More details here.
Chicago Reader review:
'Dogme 95, a Danish manifesto that calls for natural lighting, digital
cinematography, and improvisational acting, seems to work best in films
that strip down the psychology of a dysfunctional group in a single
location and a limited time span (The Celebration). True to form,
this 2000 Danish feature by Kristin Levring examines 11 passengers of a
tour bus (including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Janet McTeer, Bruce Davison,
Brion James, and Romane Bohringer) that breaks down at an abandoned
mining town in the Namibian desert. Awaiting their rescue, the
passengers endure primitive conditions and decide to stage King Lear; the project unleashes fear and loathing, and Levring wastes no opportunity to reference Shakespeare (as well as Lifeboat, Apocalypse Now, and Lord of the Flies).
The venomous confrontations are shot mostly in close-up, which drags us
into the melee, yet the script flits from one encounter to the next,
leaving behind only gut-wrenching performances and a vivid feel for the
locale—humid interiors and forlorn stretches of desert and dark, both
symbolizing recesses of emotion that may otherwise have eluded us.'
Here is the trailer.