Four years before Lars Von Trier rocked the 1998 Cannes Film Festival with his Dogme 95 inspired The Idiots, he was a TV director. While his sepia-drenched hospital horror show The Kingdom only ran for two seasons, Von Trier has recently announced that he will be returning to television for a new series called The House That Jack Built.
In a press conference held over the weekend for the release of Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Volume II – Director’s Cut, producers announced that The House That Jack Built will be in the English language and feature a huge international cast. Producers further promise that the show will be something TV-viewers have “never seen before” and “will definitely never see again.” However, the acclaimed director of Breaking the Waves and Dogville is still writing the script and filming will not begin until 2016.
With all this chatter recently about television becoming a platform for the “new arthouse”, one can only imagine what Von Trier, cinematic rebel and provocateur, will be able to come up with. Infamously banned from the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 for some controversial remarks, Lars Von Trier has never been one to censor his artistic vision in order to placate others or accrue commercial success. Through an intense filmmaking style comparable to the likes of fellow Danish director and cinematic precedent Carl Theodor Dreyer (several actresses, including Nicole Kidman, vowed never to work with Von Trier again after their collaborations with him), his films tiptoe, or rather blur, the edge of what’s conventionally understood to be sexually gratuitous. One ends up leaving a Von Trier film with their moral compass virtually shattered. Yet, he makes it all seem strangely tender.
As we wait to hear more about the series and see how he will translate his inimitable style to the television format, enjoy some hand-picked moments from Von Trier’s best work.
THE KINGDOM (1994) Season 1, Episode 1
BREAKING THE WAVES (1996) “I Can Believe”
THE IDIOTS (1998) Kiss Scene
DANCER IN THE DARK (2000) Execution Scene
DOGVILLE (2003) “I Deserve a Spanking”
ANTICHRIST (2009) “Chaos Reigns”
MELANCHOLIA (2011) Escape Window – Jon Hopkins
NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL. II (2013) Lover K