Cinema: Putting on the Dogme

This rigorous form of filmmaking is all the rage. First stop: Copenhagen. Next stop: Hollywood?

In his conference room on the Universal lot, Steven Spielberg showed a couple of guests a printed card. On the card was "The Vow of Chastity"--Ten Commandments of simplified filmmaking, as proclaimed in the Dogme '95 manifesto by directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. Spielberg spoke enthusiastically about Dogme and said he'd like to make a film under its rules.

Wait a minute. Why should the most successful filmmaker in history subject himself to these dicta, jotted down in half an hour by a couple of daffy Danes? Why would any director toss away the tools of power and sorcery...

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