A Visual Masterpiece

The Five Obstructions takes Lars von Trier, film making genius #1, and pits him against his mentor Jorgen Leth, film making genius #2. Jorgen wrote and directed an extremely influential 13 minute documentary in 1967 titled "The Perfect Human," which opened the floodgates to experimental documentarians. The Perfect Human was everything a short film should be: compact, funny, thoughtful, precisely executed, beautiful. In a way, The Perfect Human was the perfect film. So the most crushing blow was dealt when Lars von Trier challenges Jorgen Leth to remake his masterpiece five times with five different sets of obstructions. You see, neither Jorgen nor Lars thought that Jorgen would be able to recreate the faultlessness of the first film. He was certainly bound to fail in his quest for repeated perfection. That's why to the viewer's astonishment, as the film progresses, each remake turns out exactly as fantastic as the original. While I don't want to give away the ending to anyone who will see it (or possibly even buy it!), the film eventually turns to introspection as Lars reveals his true intentions. He wanted to see if Jorgen could remake his short film, yes, but he also wanted to examine Jorgen through the lens of his original film. The Perfect Human didn't seek answer, it sought contemplation, and in that regard it begged many questions. Who is the perfect human? What does the perfect human do? How does the perfect human move? To name a few. The culminating point of the movie is when Lars's intentions are revealed and the movie suddenly becomes vaguely allegorical. Overall this movie is a compilation of perhaps the greatest cinematography I've ever seen. The beauty of this film moves past plot and motif to speak to anyone interested in film as an aesthetic art form for communication of ideas. This film is available from Netflix and probably some torrent sites or dtella, whereby it is absolutely imperative that you see it at least once. Past that, it is a highly recommended purchase. Available for 22$ from Amazon with free super saver shipping.

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