Perhaps the grandest project yet of Dogme 95
progenitor and all-around Scandinavian film
god Lars von Trier
, "Dimension" is the working name of an experiment he mounted in 1991 in an effort to circumvent the abhorrent (to him) artifice of the use of makeup
to alter the appearance of actors, especially to convey age
- in a period when special effects are being used more than ever to manipulate the features of and even supplant actors. It isn't known if this project was mounted in a reactionary response of minimalism against the increasing weight on computers of a film's final look, but surely I wouldn't be the first person to describe von Trier's motivations as perverse and obstinate - if not downright masochistic, as with the Dogme regulations.
Little is known of the story behind Dimension - everyone involved in the project has been sworn to secrecy, and the firmest rumour anyone can produce is that it deals with criminal activity (crimes depicted in a movie? I'll believe it when I see it!) - and some even suspect that there isn't yet any real story that's been committed to or even written down. These things will come with time, and I don't mean post-production.
Most of what is known deals with the somewhat radical and certainly unique concept behind the filming style. His actors (including Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgard and Katrin Cartlidge) and crew assemble once a year to film for a total of three minutes at a pop. Then they strike and make arrangements for next year. Is this three minutes of footage shot or three minutes post-editing? To result in sufficient running time for a feature-length film, it looks heavily weighted towards the latter possibility - in which case they might film different takes for a grand total of a half-hour or even, in especially tricky scenes, an entire hour. Per year.
At this rate, filming is projected to reach completion in the year 2024, and the final product will portray its characters aging not through latex and dye - but by the actual aging of the actors. In the event of his own death before that date, von Trier has made arrangements for an understudy to take up the annual pilgrimage for this task of epic patience.
Ah, but will it be any good?
Wait and see.