Dancer in the Dark
Directed by Lars von Trier
Lars von Trier's only work in musical theater, Dancer in the Dark is an assault against escapism in film. Dancer in the Dark is an agonizing and unrelenting narrative of cruelty, hardship, and human nature. The film stars Björk as a single immigrant mother working in a factory in rural America who begins to lose her eyesight due to degenerative disease. The film's narrative is punctuated with sequences of song and dance, which were filmed simultaneously using one hundred separate cameras.
Lars von Trier was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in April 1956. Among the most influential filmmakers of the past decade, Danish director Lars von Trier became the figurehead of the Dogme 95 collective, calling for a return to plausible stories in filmmaking and a move away from artifice. His Dogme 95 contained eleven commandments (including prohibitions against genre films, artificial lighting, and the widescreen format) and invited artists of good faith to accept a “vow of chastity.” While ostensibly an attack on overblown commercial productions, the manifesto was effectively deployed in the promotion of a highly original series of low-budget films by von Trier and fellow directors associated with the Dogme movement.
He graduated from the Danish Film School in 1983 with his short film "Images of a relief" ("Befrielsesbilleder") which won the Best Film award at the Munich Film Festival the following year. His Breaking the Waves (1996), for which he won the Jury Prize at Cannes, was the director's first film in the Golden Hearted Trilogy that centered on the female sex; subsequent films in this trilogy include The Idiots (1998) and Dancer in the Dark (2000), which won the 2000 Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Together with producer Peter Ålbæk Jensen, Lars von Trier owns Zentropa Enterprises, which produces Lars von Triers fims, as well as many others.
"A thrilling, audacious work."
— Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Björk gives what may be the most wrenching performance ever given by someone who has no interest in being an actor."
— David Ansen, Newsweek