Old Dogme, New Tricks

Ten years ago, Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg decided to forget everything they knew about filmmaking. Looking for a way to break what they considered bad habits behind the camera — like using music to set a mood or relying on clever editing to boost a weak scene — they drafted The Vow of Chastity, a manifesto with 10 rules to strip cinema down to its barest essentials. The imperatives included that films should be shot in color, with hand-held cameras, on location with no additional props, no soundtrack and no extra lighting. They should be set in...

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