4.3/10
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Dimension 1991-2024 (2010)

A poetic gangster story and a thriller about the passage of time. Recorded between 1991 and 1997 but published in 2010. Lars von Trier's long-running project was supposed to premiere in 2024, but the production was stopped.

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A poetic gangster story and a thriller about the passage of time. Recorded between 1991 and 1997 but published in 2010. Lars von Trier's long-running project was supposed to premiere in 2024, but the production was stopped.

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25 August 2010 (Denmark)  »

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Filming took place from 1991 to 1997. See more »

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Abandoned project from a contemporary master
24 April 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This is an abandoned film project by Lars von Trier. He was supposed to film 3 minutes of film, unscripted, every year for 33 years. For some reason - I have my guesses - LVT abandoned the ambitious project and later released the shot material as a "short film".

The film can be found on a DVD called Nordic Short Films that came in August 2010 with Nordic film magazines Ekko (Denmark), Film (Sweden), Rushprint (Norway) and Episodi (Finland). You can watch the opening 2 minutes on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYCB3R1IBRU

It was a great idea. Too bad that Trier didn't make it all the way through. But after seeing the 27 minutes long unfinished film, I can understand why he lost interest in it. (I believe the aging and even dying of some of the actors was planned to be part of the film, so I don't think the death of Eddie Constantine, for instance, was the reason of abandoning the project.) I think the shot material didn't satisfy him. And he also made a huge shift in style and approach to filmmaking at the time from stylized films like Europa to hand held, more actor oriented Breaking the Waves and the Dogme Movement. Probably he just lost interest in this kind of project.

The style of the movie changes from static shots and Tarkovsky inspired Bach soundtrack to hand held and more lighter, comic touch, after couple of scenes/years. There's some pretty generic gangster plot complete with MacGuffin and all, but it's not very interesting story-wise or visually. Reminds me of Godard's 80's films like First Name: Carmen or Detective. Very loose and making not much sense. Of course the story/film would've evolved over the years.

It feels like a low budget, improvised amateur gangster film with famous actors, instead of the the "monumental film" about the passage of time he set out to do. Of course it's interesting for a Trier fan, because you can see every scene/year mirroring the movie he's made at that time from Europa to Kingdom to Breaking the Waves, with the same actors that he used in those films. I guess it's hard to say if the complete full length feature would've been good or not, but after seeing this short, unfinished version, I'm left with a feeling of disappointment. I first heard about this project over ten years ago and was waiting for the monumental film he said he was going to do. He said in an early interview that this was his idea of making a monumental film. Using time instead of big epic scope in "space" like Lawrence of Arabia.

The idea of the project is interesting and there's probably a lot to be said about it. Too shame that the film itself didn't work out. Either way I'm glad that the abandoned footage was published so you can see some of the "making of" processes of one of the greatest filmmakers of today.

But see for yourself. It's interesting little film if you're a Trier fan like myself, but otherwise you're probably not going to get much from it.


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