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In Competition - Dogville

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- Although he's never been to the United States, Lars von Trier is making an American trilogy starring the radiant Nicole Kidman

In Competition - Dogville

Video: Nicole and Lars

Dogville, the first part of Lars von Trier’s American trilogy, was presented in competition in Cannes today and greeted with a standing ovation. The Danish director put the Dogma 95 Manifesto he co-founded to one side and went for a more traditional setting, recreating a small American town in the Danish Filmbyen’s studios. The streets, countryside and houses, however, were simple lines drawn on the floor.

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Dogville is a look at American culture through some of its most famous literary points of reference: Tom Sawyer and Spoon River, but from the point of view of European experimental theatre. Justine, played by an extraordinary Nicole Kidman could have been penned by Sade himself given the torts and humiliations she is subjected to by the inhabitants of the little town of Dogville. Her positive nature draws her inexorably to an atrocious finale that is totally and incredibly politically incorrect.

Accused of portraying America as a brutally violent place, von Trier defended his film: “Dogville is not meant to portray the United States: it is the way I imagine the country to be even if I’ve never been there. Right now I don’t feel the need to go there because I think it is not the country it could be. There’s too much trash and I don’t like the stuff that I am sent. I feel at liberty to choose my projects,” he continued. Nicole Kidman enjoyed working with the man who created Dogma and confirmed she would star in the other two parts of the trilogy.

A pan-European co-production by Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Holland, Dogville was also funded by the Nordic Film & TV Fund, the Danish Film Institute and the Netherlands Film Fund, amongst others with Trust Film Sales 2 handling the international rights. There’s also a little bit of Italy in Dogville: Leo Pescarolo and Alfredo Cuomo of Planet Film co-produced it with Zentropa, Memphis Film, France 3, Isabella Films International e BV.

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(Translated from Italian)

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