Tranceformer - A Portrait of Lars von Trier

Synopsis: A portrait of Denmark's most acclaimed and controversial director, Lars von Trier. A meeting with von Trier on a private level as well as with his film universe. Filmmaker Stig Björkman follow von Trier during a period of more than two years, meet him at work, at home and at leisure.
Genre: Documentary
52 min

I'll gladly assert

that everything

said or written of me is a lie.


But a provocation's purpose

is to get people to think.


If you subject people

to a provocation

you allow them the possibility

of their own interpretation.


He is a, what can one say...

...a playful rascal.

Absolute opponent to all kinds

of intellectual authority.

Unfortunately, I have

a "troll shard" in my eye.

I don't know if you know

The Snow Queen by Han Andersen.

I remember there's a boy who

at some stage gets

a troll shard in his eye

and sees things as ugly.

I see you as fairly cross-eyed.

His name alone is

a pure provocation...

Von Trier! It's incredible

how many doors

have opened through it.

That's because my own life is

a fabrication, not so?

Shall we skip the niceties and

get on with the interview?

He's very bourgeois.

Wears slippers at home,

runs around the lawn,

cuts the hedge.

Nothing could be more dull.

There's nothing exotic about him.

About being "self-directed".

That means you direct yourself

differently in a certain way.

I don't do that.

You normally associate extremism

with grand gestures and so on.

But Lars is very controlled,

very amiable in his way.

That means that sometimes

you don't even notice

the missiles he fires.

And the whole thing blows up

without you really knowing

what happened.

Danish bastards!

Danish bastards!

But life is a circus,

for God's sake...

My mother gave me

a small-gauge camera.

Actually she had really

bought it for herself

but she thought

I should play with it.

I think this is my second film.

The first was more experimental.

The camera was more capable of

single frames and dissolves

and everything...It was fun and

everything had to be tested.

And this really arty film...

Later there are also examples of...

Well, double exposures

at any rate...

And even hand-held camera and...

subjective images.

It is actually largely a textbook

in different film styles.

I was about 10 or 12 years old.

I made him swim there.

I remember he got scolded

for being soaked.

He had his nice clothes on.

What's interesting

and what I later...

It's interesting to see

I realized how to use

interior film for exteriors.

It was one of the most important

color manipulations for 8 mm.

It means...There's interior film

used on a daylight scene.

There's a sequence shortly that's

shot outside on interior film.

It's in a second if I remember...

It makes him more acidic,

you could say...

Here's a tracking shot.

Taken from a bicycle.

My biggest dream at that time

was to build a camera crane.

I never did.

It was too difficult.

It had to be built of wood...

15 years later he has

the resources

and in The Element of Crime

he creates an unusually

expressive thriller.

He wins a prize in Cannes.

It's the first part of a trilogy

about a Europe in disintegration.

In these films,

Lars von Trier transforms reality

and evokes closed, hypnotic

worlds of rare suggestiveness.

The resources for Epidemic

are more limited

but the film imagination

is unbound.

Within the tightly composed

images of Europa,

chaos reigns which inexorably

condemns people,

both good and evil,

to ruination.

In 1968,

Trier plays the leading role

in a SwedishlDanish TV series,

Clandestine Summer.

He is 12 years old.

I'm no millionaire.

My mother will go mad

if I steal the marmalade.

-Buy some.

-I'm saving for a tape recorder.

-Whilst I starve to death?

-0kay, I'll fetch something, then.

His parents, Ulf and Inger Trier,

radical middle class academics

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Stig Björkman

Stig Björkman (born 2 October 1938) is a Swedish writer and film critic. He has also directed fifteen films since 1964. His 1972 film Georgia, Georgia was entered into the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival. His 1975 film The White Wall was entered into the 9th Moscow International Film Festival. His 2015 documentary Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words was screened in the Cannes Classics section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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