Dogville was surprisingly good.. I can appreciate art films, but sometimes their pretension becomes too great and begins to irritate me (case in point: Gerry). Dogville was directed by Lars von Trier, a director known in part for the “Dogme 95” rules of filmmaking (only shoot on location, only handheld cameras, minimal or no artifical lighting, etc). When I heard that Dogville was filmed on a soundstage with almost no set at all, and instead of walls, there were chalk outlines of the buildings in the small town, my fun-o-meter became decidely unpegged.
Then Trier decided to completely surprise me… The novelty of the minimalist set melted away after the first 10 minutes, and it became clear to me why he felt it was important to “look through the walls” of the buildings.. A few irritations persisted (was it really necessary to foley in the sounds of doors opening and closing when the actors were pretending to open and close them?) But really, the “gimmick” turned out to be terribly important and really much more than it would have been without it.
I was really impressed.