the five obstructions

"An unclassifiable film-school exercise—one part documentary, one part psychodrama, and one part mock manifesto—The Five Obstructions mainly serves to illuminate the game-like nature of Lars von Trier's aesthetic project.... The Five Obstructions is an essay on art as a matter of solving problems posed by a capricious deity—that is, an exposé of von Trier's own method, both of making a movie and directing actors. Von Trier compares this to therapy, although Leth hardly seems convinced. Eventually, he will be punished for his cleverness when von Trier withdraws his rules. Von Trier confesses that his desire is to "banalize" Leth and reduce him to the situation of "a tortoise on his back." But he fails once more when Leth proves resourceful enough to make something in a mode that both men profess to despise."

Tracking Shots
The Five Obstructions
by J. Hoberman