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Dogme95 - Fraudulent labeling "Dogma is not for fun" - says Thomas Vinterberg.
But who is Thomas Vinterberg?
And what is a Dogma-95 movie?

According to a good journalist style,
I present the subject separated by facts and comment:

First the facts:

1995 four movie makers built a collective in order to “counter certain tendencies of film today”. For this purpose they set up (within 25 minutes and occasionally laughing out loud) a couple of rules that have to be followed in order to produce a "Dogma movie". So if someone wants to create a Dogma movie, has to make a so-called "vow of chastity", which I will list here abridged, maintaining the original sense:


Rule 1

Shoot on location only, i. e. not on sets


Rule 2

Use sound only during the shot, don’t lay it in afterwards


Rule 3

Shoot handheld, i. e. no use of tripods!


Rule 4

Don't use black and white films, use natural light only.
If this is not sufficient, a lamp might be attached to the camera,
No use of further sources of light.


Rule 5

Don't use filters, no special effects.


Rule 6

No superficiality, no murder, no weapons.


Rule 7

No temporal or geographical alienation


Rule 8

No genre pieces


Rule 9

Film format: Academy 35 mm
(i. e. 4 : 3 frame ratio, no wide screen)


Rule 10

The director must not be credited.
He must also refrain from personal taste.
He must press exclusively the "authenticity" out of actors and locations, however aesthetic or not the result.


Lars von Trier und Thomas Vinterberg came up with these rules on Monday 13th of March 1995 in Kopenhagen.

Now the comment:

One might think this is sort of a nasty sect, which won’t let their members create aesthetic movies. Instead, they must bore their audience with "authenticity".

But what is authenticity anyway? Academy format? Each of the 10 vows can make sense -handheld camera work for instance can be a stylistic device, and even such an excellent movie like "Amadeus" was shot with natural light only (!).

However, the fact that the film-dogmatists restrict their means of style "on principle" often makes their movies boring and cheap. In disregard of this, dogmatists have no inhibitions about ripping off the unsuspecting cinemagoers. Not everybody is aware of or pays attention to the small print (i. e. the Dogma 95 certificate) and many will be annoyed after having paid 9 Euro, expecting a "real" night at the movies.


What if these principles of work would extend to further areas of public life
– say, gastronomy?

Dogma chips
Extended Dogma rules for the production of chips

Rule 1

Don't wash the potatoes


Rule 2

Don't cut the potatoes with a knife,
just pull them to pieces with bare hands


Rule 3

Don't heat the fat artificially,
instead just fry outside using sunlight.


Rule 4

Don't add any salt or sauces (Catch-up or mayonnaise).


Rule 5

Don't use cutlery (= eat with fingers!)

Dogme95 - Dogma-Chips - don't wah the potatoes Dogme95 - Dogma-chips - pull the potatoes to pieces with bare hands Dogme 95 - Dogma-chips - fry potatoes using sunlight Dogme 95 - Dogma-chips - simple, yet expensive


My Dogma-chips vow:

I'm no chef any more.
I swear not to cook a delicious portion of chips ever again.

I consider the act of cooking chips more important than the result.
My primary target is forcing out the authenticity of the potato and the fat.

I swear to do my utmost in order to reach that target, disregarding taste or aesthetic appearance of the chips.

This is my chips vow.

Cologne, 22nd of April 2002, Michael von Aichberger

This would be a great no-no!


1 announcement - 5 ouches


First the announcement
of the Film Foundation of North-Rhine-Westphalia
(ouches are marked red)

"The Cologne-based film production company pain unlimited will shoot a new Dogma Film in Cologne in August. "The House of Klang" by Paul Morrissey, Andy Warhol's partner at the movies, is a black comedy abuot an over-excited fashion designer (Udo Kier). The film foundation supports the project, in which also Vibeke Windelov's danish film production company Zentropa participates, with DEM 750,000"


Now the opinion:

What? They shoot a Dogma film - ouch - in *my* town - ouch -? Andy Warhol - ouch – is involved, too? Andy Warhol, the most phony person of the 20th century after Beuys and Baselitz? - ouch – And the Film Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia supports this sacrilege with 383,468 Euro and 81 cents, financed by taxes from me and other righteous citizens? - double ouch -. Nomen es omen: At least the name of the film production company suits this wannabe-movie: "pain unlimited" – the name speaks for itself!

More opinions on Dogma

Katja Engelhardt, independent editor:

"I don't like Dogma movies. When I watch them, I always think: 'Can't you just switch on a light!?' From my point of view, people shouldn't produce movies if they're not prepared to switch on a light. Why don't they try radio plays?"

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