Lars von Trier is a director who’s always partial to a bit of controversy. If he’s not making films, like The Idiots and Melancholia, that push the boundaries of bourgeois taste, he’s getting barred from the Cannes film festival for claiming he’s a Nazi. His latest filmic venture is a crowdsourced film where he’s asking the public to submit content inspired by certain artworks, one of them created by a member of the Third Reich.
The project is called Gesamt, produced by the Copenhagen Art Festival, and people are asked to submit a film (or audio content) up to five minutes long—selected entries will then be stitched together to form a final work by director Jenle Hallund. On the project’s website they describe the project as “Trier sets the rules, you create the material and the female director Jenle Hallund puts it all together.” while calling it both a “provocation and an invitation.”
The six works (you can choose either one or several) that people are asked to reinterpret are painter Paul Gauguin‘s Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?, Hitler architect Albert Speer’s Zeppelinfield at Nuremberg, a sonata by Belgian composer Cesar Franck, Ulysses by James Joyce, Swedish playwirght August Strindberg’s The Father, and the music of Sammy Davis. Jr.
The concept of the film comes from the German gesamtkunstwerk which means either “the universal work of art” or “synthesis of the art” and “refers to a piece of art that has been made up of many different types of art.” It’s not the first time a crowdsourced feature film’s been made, previous attempts have been the Ridley Scott produced, Kevin Macdonald directed A Life In A Day, which we screened at our NYC event last year, and Star Wars Uncut.
These projects always prove fertile breeding ground for experimentation and the controversial choices to interpret should only fuel people’s imaginations, so it should be interesting to see how this one turns out. “This project is interesting because it is based on ordinary people’s creativity and imagination. Therefore It has the potential to reveal the health of a civilization by exposing its soul.” says Hallund.
Submission is open now until 6th of September and the film will premiere on 12th October.