Dogville

It's a dog-eat-dog world and Nicole Kidman is wearing Milk Bone underwear, in Lars von Trier's unusual but powerful parable

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall

Website: http://www.tvropa.com/Dogville/

A beautiful woman (Nicole Kidman), on the run from gangsters, hides out in a remote village in 1930s Colorado. At first, the inhabitants seem welcoming enough. Gradually, however, the mood starts to change.

A powerful parable about the corrupting nature of power, Dogville doesn't make easy viewing but its excellent cast and original approach make it a film well worth seeing.

Filmed entirely on one sparsely decorated studio set - a bizarre hybrid, it seems, of a Clue board and the stage design for the Talking Heads movie Stop Making Sense - Dogville looks unlike pretty much any film you've seen before.

Von Trier, who also directed Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark, adds to the stagy, artificial feel by dividing the film into nine chapters and a prologue, each introduced by a narrator whose measured English tones recall, oddly, the voice of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the BBC TV series.

Strangely, the artificiality of the setting makes the story that unfolds all the more shocking, bringing the Dogville inhabitants' morality and behavior into sharp focus.

Von Trier seems to be suggesting that you don't have to scratch too deep into the surface of American life to reveal the unpleasant dog-eat-dog morality beneath, a view reinforced by a vicious David Bowie-soundtracked end-credit sequence.

PTV Rating: 4 out of 5

Czech Premiere: April 1st, 2004
Czech Title: Dogville
Czech Classification: 12
Runtime: 2 hours, 18 minutes
Number of Prints in Czech Cinemas: 5

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