Week of November 3, 2004

Nov 3, 2004 at 4:00 am
The Five Obstructions (De Fem Benspaend) (unrated) Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier. Every film poses sufficient thematic and technical difficulties, but Danish Dogme 95 director Lars von Trier (Dogville, Breaking the Waves) exacerbates the challenges for his former mentor and fellow Dane Jørgen Leth. Von Trier designs ways to, in his words, "ruin" Leth's twelve-minute gem "The Perfect Human" (1967). Much to the infuriating and infuriated von Trier's dismay, Leth embraces the obstructions as stimuli to his creativity and remakes his film, devising one version with no shot more than twelve frames (less than half a second) long, another version shot in the worst part of the world, a third "without rules" (anathema for the disciplined Leth), and another as a cartoon (a genre Leth hates). With devilishly gleeful comments and directions, von Trier finds his former mentor a more worthy rival than he expects, as Leth produces amazingly provocative works. Screens at 7 p.m. Friday, November 5, through Sunday, November 7 in Winifred Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)