In 2003, Lars von Trier (director of Breaking the Waves, Dogville and the upcoming Melancholia) came up with a truly novel movie idea: he challenged fellow filmmaker Jorgen Leth to remake his own short film, The Perfect Human (about a man and a woman acting as zoo exhibits) five times. The twist is that each time he had to follow the strict rules that von Trier laid out. These 'obstructions' included limiting every shot to half a second in length, to remaking it as a cartoon, to shooting it in the worst place in the world without ever showing it.
Now, von Trier has challenged Martin Scorsese – arguably the greatest American filmmaker in the world – to participate in a new version of The Five Obstructions, according to The Hollywood Reporter. No word yet on which of Scorsese's many films or short films will be the subject matter, although we're keeping our fingers crossed that it'll be Scorsese's music video for Michael Jackson's Bad.
Von Trier has a history of challenging filmmakers, have co-founded the Dogme 95 movement, which placed harsh restrictions on its followers in the pursuit of realism. Such rules included denying any credit to the director, shooting entirely on location, not using any props which could not be found on location, not using any form of lighting apart from – if absolutely necessary – a single lamp mounted on the camera, and only using diegetic music (i.e. music that the characters in the film can actually hear). Curiously, Lars Von Trier himself never entirely succeeded in following these rules himself. His one 'official' Dogme 95 film, The Idiots, used non-diegetic music.
Crave Online will be back with more news on The Five Obstructions, and will attempt to do so without using pronouns.