April 24, 2008

The Boss of it All (Direktøren for det hele) (2006)

Lars Von Trier's latest following Dogville and Manderlay is a comedy? Must be his way of ridding himself of the omnipresent depression throughout his films and (lately) throughout his life. Claiming that for him to make this is analogous to a serious artist making pop music, the result is nevertheless not quite pop enough. Granted, he devoted a lot less effort to the cinematography (in fact he did not use a cameraman and instead used a computer program called Automavision to do the work for him), so the framing is a bit off at times, and there are some (intentional?) jump cuts that give it a not-so-mainstream feel. Despite this, it's no Dancer in the Dark (though arguably of equal comedic value) but it's not exactly a 100% copy of 'The Office' either (in fact Von Trier did not see 1 episode of the show before making the film). It has some drawing-attention-to-the-fact-that-this-is-a-film elements à la Brecht, but in the end it has a pretty standard narrative and some usual comedic devices. It contains some nice themes about morality and loyalty and emotional appeal (that get deconstructed), and the way it ends is a nice touch as well. Sure it can be said this is the intellectual man's comedy (as opposed to something like Office Space) but it still works as a comedy for everybody else as well. Even though this isn't exactly the typical Von Trier stuff, it's fun nonetheless, and supplies a nice little snack for your Von Trier cravings until his next one.