Lars Van Trier's Dogville has caused a good amount of ruckus in the film world. Some critics are reduced to hissing, screaming expletives, and giving the screen "the bird" at screenings of the film. Greencine Daily notes that a critic from the Slate, David Edelstien really hated the film. He ends the article on this note:
The pugnacious critic Armond White, whose dudgeon in this instance seems just, points out that von Trier condescends to the artists he rips off—Dreyer in Breaking the Waves, Fellini in Dancer in the Dark, and here Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town metamorphoses into a Shirley Jackson American Gothic before our eyes. (This is a crime against both Wilder, whose play remains a vivid and moving collision of American optimism with the fact of death, and Jackson, who in her novels captures a species of inbred American repression as well as anyone.) Von Trier really gives us Yanks the big middle finger in the credit sequence, which presents photos of real American poverty, hopelessness, and desperation while David Bowie warbles the acidic "Young Americans." That was when I gave the movie the finger right back; I wanted to throw things at the screen. I'm sure Lars von Trier would regard me the way Col. Jessup regards the lieutenant in A Few Good Men—I can't handle the truth. But it's more like I can't handle selective half-truths by a preening, misanthropic bully who wouldn't recognize an act of decency if it bit him on the ass.
On the other hand, maybe von Trier is right that we Americans are dogs: His movies seem to call to me like fire hydrants.
Notice the backhanded comment suggesting that Lars Von Trier's vision is a filtered copy of great movie auteurs like Fellini and Dryer. Though I was looking forward to seeing it before, this scathing review makes me want to run out and see Dogville right this second knowing that it has pissed off so many people.
I already have a few films queued up for the next few weeks. Despite how busy my life is right now, I will attempt to see Good Bye Lenin and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind hopefully this week.