Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Five Obstructions


I watched a very interesting movie The Five Obstructions with a friend’s recommendation. In the movie, Jørgen Leth is challenged by Lars von Trier to redo his 1967 short film The Perfect Human with the following five obstructions –
1. do it in Cuba; no shot longer than 12 frames
2. do it in the worst place in the world without showing the place
3. do it in whatever way (as a punishment on the unsuccessful result of task #2)
4. do it as cartoon (Jørgen’s most hated genre)
5. reading a narration written by Lars

These five obstructions possibly present the extreme ways an artist should criticize his own works: to change the context; to push it to the extreme situation; to deal with the “impossible” total freedom; to do it by one’s most hated means; to know oneself through a competitor’s eyes. Leth’s responses to these obstructions are fantastic. You have to watch this film!

The 12-minute long The Perfect Human is just brilliant, stylish and humorous. We see a man and a woman, both good-looking and elegant, living in an abstract space, like vacuum. They behave in a narcissistic and detached way, detached from their living environment and detached from each other. The voiceover keeps asking a lot of questions in search of what a PERFECT human is, which has a satirical effect to make us laugh at ourselves.

3 comments:

Pete said...

good stuff hah...

egh sorry i keep giving you short cheap useless comments like this one... i will try to write more when i have my own internet connection at my soon to be apartment... for now.. all i have is this short cheap and almost useless internet connection that i stole from my neighbor.. it took a long long time to update a page

XENIA said...

i can't imagine living without internet! btw, when will you update your blog??

Tom said...

Hello! I am a cartoonist currently engaged in a similar game of FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS, which you can see on my blog here:

http://hutchowen.typepad.com/hutchowen/2007/06/matt_maddens_fi.html

We are doing it in public, much like the movie, but also, because I am doing smaller comic strips, I do them in small bursts of time.

It's been quite hard!

Thanks for looking,

TH