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Evil Is Art, Murder Is Art, Torture Is Art: On Lars von Trier's 'The House that Jack Built'

It isn't entirely irredeemable, but The House that Jack Built's familiar gimmicks say much more about Lars von Trier as a brand than as a provocateur or artist.

Recent
Reviews

Von Trier's Cinema as Literature in 'Breaking the Waves'

Lars Von Trier’s cinema, particularly in Breaking the Waves, is an acknowledgement of film as an offshoot of literature and the heritage of storytelling.

Film

In 'Nymph()maniac - The Director's Cut', More Actually Is More

Even with all its XXX gimmickry, Nymph()maniac remains grounded in character. From someone like Von Trier, we'd expect nothing less, and we even get a lot more.

Film

Films for Fans of Visionary Directors

In film, "visionary" has become a marketing adjective, like "iconic". Here, on the matter of visionary directors, we separate the claret from the beaujolais, if you will.

Film

Ranking the Greats: Lars Von Trier's 10 Best Films

He's both beloved and berated by film fans around the world. Yet, for us, these 10 examples explain why Lars Von Trier is one of the artform's best.

Reviews

A Paean to the Pictures: 'The Story of Film: An Odyssey'

'The Story of Film' is the best film-studies class you never had.

Reviews

'Melancholia': The Stasis of Despair and the Allure of Rapture

Lars von Trier's stunning, occasionally beautiful, slow-motion apocalypse, Melancholia, reaches for a moment of cathartic ecstasy amongst the crippling stasis of despair.

Film

'Caligula's Ghost: Why Cinema Needs Epic Failure More than Mediocre Success

Obscene, grandiose and artistically worthless -- such is the monstrous reputation of the 1979 art-porn blockbuster Caligula. Is this most shocking of Roman epics worthy of reappraisal?

Film

Toronto International Film Festival 2011: 'Melancholia'

"The earth is evil. We don't need to grieve for it." So declares a luminous Kirsten Dunst in Danish provocateur Lars von Trier's best and most powerful film yet.

Film

The 100 Essential Directors Part 10: Josef Von Sternberg to Zhang Yimou

The final day of directors is here, Josef Von Sternberg through Zhang Yimou. German Expressionism, Dogme 95, contemporary views of Asian life, post-WWII malaise in Eastern Europe, and the alternately heartwarming and queer takes on everyday life in Baltimore all hold a space on today's list. Did we forget your favorite director on this list?

Reviews

The Haunting of Lars von Trier in 'Anti-Christ'

Just as the female lead character strikes out against the identifiable point of oppression in her own life, von Trier strikes out against the very audiences and critics who continue to endure his films in order to both convince them otherwise -- and annihilate them.

Film

PREVIEW: Lars von Trier's 'Antichrist'

A glimpse into director Lars von Trier's most-talked about film to date.

Film

Katrin Cartlidge: The Working Actress

Cartlidge’s lady of the night is part Shakespearean tragedienne, part deliciously vague Hitchcockian mannequin in distress; the archetype is shattered.

Film

Katrin Cartlidge: The Working Actress

Whether it was through silence, grotesquerie, fury or intelligence (or, at times, lack of intelligence), Cartlidge was not afraid to upturn the dark corners of the women she portrayed.

Reviews

The Boss of It All

The Boss of It All is the sort of middling, sporadically funny, sporadically dull art-house comedy that you keep wishing would ditch the art-house qualifier and just go for it, already.

Josh Timmermann
Film

Manderlay (2005)

Lars Von Trier resists few opportunities to deride the capitalist system that breeds a permanent underclass of wage slaves.

Jesse Hicks
Film

Dogville (2003)

The accusation that the film is 'anti-American' says less about Von Trier than it does about the American psyche.

Todd R. Ramlow
Reviews

Medea (1987)

Passion drives Lars von Trier's Medea.

Chris Elliot
Reviews
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