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Trier invited him to be co-writer of the manifesto (the Vow of Chastity section) and member of a Dogme 95 group of filmmakers who could carry the new ideas into reality.
The Dogme 95 manifesto, if we sum up the important points of its method and philosophy, is directed at “certain tendencies” in contemporary film, offering a “rescue action” that is basically opposed to “the auteur concept” and “bourgeois” cinema: “We must put our films into uniform, because the individual film will be decadent by definition!
But it is also a kind of (self)punishment, a confession of faith and a promise of obeying rules that cannot be questioned (the same way religious dogmas cannot). Aspects of Dogma, [theme issue], p.o.v.: A Danish Journal of Film Studies, no.
It would later turn out, however, that several Dogme directors had sinned against their vow.
Dogme is (European) minimalism versus (American) grandiose mainstream with its “superficial action”, “cosmetics” and “illusion.” But it was also, according to Vinterberg, meant as “a reaction to the laziness and mediocrity in both European and American cinema.” The idea is to make film “here and now”, using the spontaneity of the moment rather than doing a lot of postproduction ‘repair’ of the scenes.
He contacted his colleague Thomas Vinterberg, who had not yet made a feature film (he would do that the following year with , 1994), he was considered the most promising among the young Danish filmmakers.
Dogme is a search for truth, a rather abstract ambition.
It should be noticed, however, that it concerns truth inside a fictional universe.
Dogme is also against the auteur status of the director, destroying the romantic myth of the unique artistic personality; for an eccentric artist like Trier, this is a rather masochist rule.
It is also part of the anti-aesthetic tendency of the movement, ignoring “any good taste and any aesthetics.” The Dogme project is not without its paradoxes: Why demand technical primitiveness from a medium so much based on technology?
According to producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen, Trier talked about the , a mixture of comedy, hospital drama and ghost story, where Trier experimented with using deliberately faulty and imperfect visuals, marked by shaky handheld shots and grainy distorted colors, partly in order to create a special visual style, partly – by omitting a lot of time-consuming lighting preparations for each shot and by ignoring classical rules of film ‘grammar’ like the 180° rule – to simplify (and thereby shorten and reduce the cost of) the shooting process.