As he prepares his next cinematic provocative act, the Danish director Lars von Trier invites audiences to engage in their own acts of filmmaking as part of a user-generated project that seeks to reinterpret well-known works by Paul Gauguin, August Strindberg and Albert Speer, among others.
On Monday, Mr. von Trier, whose films include “Melancholia,” “Antichrist” and “Dancer in the Dark,” announced the creation of a project called Gesamt, which is produced by the Copenhagen Art Festival and asks participants to submit their own works of up to five minutes in length. As a press release from the project explains, the German word gesamtkunstwerk can mean “universal work of art” or “synthesis of art”; and participants can create their works “through the lens of their camera or sound recording”.
This being the case, Mr von Trier, there are certain specific conditions that submissions must meet. In particular, they should take inspiration from one of the six existing plays: “Ulysses” by James Joyce (which, as the press release mentions, was “formerly banned in the United States because it was considered obscene and obscene. “); Strindberg’s play “The Father” (“a vivid example of a dysfunctional family”); Gauguin’s painting “Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? ”; Improvisations by French composer César Franck; the work of Sammy Davis Jr. (“ who entered people’s hearts through song ”); or“ the somewhat more controversial monument the Zeppelinfield in Nuremberg, created by Hitler’s principal architect, Albert Speer.
As the von Trier finalists will recall, the director was excluded of the Cannes Film Festival last year after jokingly saying about Hitler: “I sympathize with him a little.”
Submissions will be accepted until September 6 and will be compiled into a larger work by Jenle Hallund, a Danish director who has worked with Mr von Trier on films like “Melancholia”. This final work will debut on October 12 at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. As the project announcement points out: “Technical skills are not the highest priority – originality and enthusiasm are much more important. “