Since the need of privacy has required the revolution of technologies, our living conditions changed a lot. Home, community is not the center of our social life any more. We have huge entertainment markets, we have legal system takes responsibilities to the whole country, so the community cannot be the judge of people’s life, and cannot be the center of people’s life. When we talk about home, it becomes a place for the individuals have intimate relationships to live in, and live in an intimate way.This is what I learned from my Intimacy and Technology class. However, if there’s a place like Dogville, all the rules are gonna be broken. Honestly, Dogville is the most shocking movie that I have never watched before.

Actually, I was a little late on the day we watched this movie(world screen Thurs), so the very first scenes to me are just some people are doing a play in a theater, of course, latter, I realized that is exactly the movie!!If we can accept on every season’s fashion show, the designers refresh our cognition of tendency and construct new concepts of makeups, dresses, high heels, handbags…, it is still a little hard to accept the small town that Lars von Trier constructs to us. It really cost me some time to adjust myself into the movie, to make myself believe that the white painted outlines are the walls, the word ‘Gooseberry Bushes’ stands for the real bushes, and the sound effect also accompanies with the non-existent objects. Trier did a so impressive work, and broke so many rules of the cinema fashion. Not a Hollywood style, not a box office aimed movie, but strong enough to blow your mind. Dogville is set in the 1930s, and considered to be ‘a symbol of any small towns in the U.S.’, so some critics accuse this movie has ‘strongly anti-American message’. However, the actors just act on the stage, that takes the audience to see the real face of cinema–acting. No matter which big star plays role in the movie, no matter how amazing the scenes and the sound effect are, films are still all about acting. Trier brings the real face of film back to us, and makes us face the questions that the movie tries to tell.

In the 1930s, a small town is like a community, that’s the center of people’s social life and the judge of everything. People who live there would like to be engaged in that community, would like to follow the rules of the community. That is just like what Grace did. No matter where she comes from, what she experienced, day after day, she’s willing to get involved in Dogville’s life. She tries her best to help others to prove her value, then the residents accept her, but when she breaks some rules, they abandon her, cheat on her, and even abuse both her body and soul. Dogville is a ‘trap’ for Grace, that’s a place saved her before, destroyed her later, and taught her a lesson finally-“If there is one town that the world would be better without, it’s Dogville.” When it comes to a small town, it must has something in common. It seems a place out of law, but easily under control, the majority is the judge of anything, it can make you become the hero or the public enemy. Sometimes I think Dogville may be the ultimately cruel place in the world, people live there have the faith but no faith, they have their bodies alive but no lives, that’s some way some people live, in Dogville, in the world.

Like a refreshing fashion show, Lars von Trier refreshes the fashion of cinema…

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Christian Dior Spring Summer 2007

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