Lars von Trier - Rotten Tomatoes

Lars von Trier

Highest Rated:   92% Side by Side (2012)
Lowest Rated:   33% Epidemic (1987)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Copenhagen, Denmark
With a back-story as singular as his films, Danish director Lars von Trier was one of the most exceptional filmmakers to burst onto the international film scene in the 1990s. Unapologetically confident in his artistry and an unabashed provocateur, von Trier could kick up a fuss about his behavior, but his stylistic brio, extreme narratives, and ability with actors prevented such films as Zentropa (1991), The Kingdom (1994), Breaking the Waves (1996), and Dancer in the Dark (2000) from being eclipsed by their creator. Even as he openly sought a larger audience by making films in English, von Trier's success helped resurrect Scandinavian cinema's international prominence; his intense fear of flying ensured he'd never "go Hollywood." Born Lars Trier (he later added the aristocratic "von" to his name for aristocratic effect) and raised by his radical, nudist Communist parents in an unconventional environment where, as the director once put it, everything was permitted except "feelings, religion and enjoyment," the young man blossomed into a neurotic, left-wing, movie-loving youth. Given a Super-8 camera at age 11, von Trier spent his teens making movies and entered Copenhagen's film school in the early '80s. After winning prizes at the Munich Film Festival in 1981 and 1982 for his student films, the 1983 graduate managed to put together his low-budget debut feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly stylized neo-noir cop thriller set in a sepia-toned, water-logged future, The Element of Crime attracted favorable notice at the Cannes Film Festival, winning a prize for technical achievement. Von Trier continued his feature trilogy about Europe with the reflexive thriller Epidemic (1987). Starring the director as a director trying to raise money to make the movie-within-a-movie about a horrific virus unleashed on contemporary Germany, Epidemic was a controlled stab at postmodernism that underlined von Trier's restless creativity even though it was not as well regarded. After a version of Medea (1988) for Danish television, von Trier completed his European trio with Europa (1991). A darkly comic drama set in post-WWII Germany, Europa dazzled viewers with its ambitious use of superimposition, rear projection, and dramatic shifts between black-and-white and color, definitively establishing von Trier's mastery of ominous atmospherics. Retitled Zentropa for its American release, Europa earned von Trier his first substantial international recognition as well as film festival notoriety. Disappointed by Europa's third place Special Jury Prize at Cannes, von Trier accepted his award with thanks to "the midget," jury chair Roman Polanski. Von Trier continued to experiment and stretch his cinematic vision, announcing plans to make a film called Dimension, to be shot in three-minute increments over 30 years. While the results of that project remain to be seen, what von Trier made in the ensuing eight years vaulted him from cult status to bona fide directorial stardom. Turning his terror of hospitals into superb entertainment, von Trier mounted the chilling miniseries The Kingdom (1994) for Danish TV. Shot on location in a Copenhagen hospital in 16 mm with available light, The Kingdom was an inspired blend of Twin Peaks freakiness with ER procedural kineticism in its story of a haunted hospital. A TV and film festival hit, The Kingdom also became a precursor to the new aesthetic and spiritual concerns of von Trier's subsequent 1990s feature films. Embroiled in personal turmoil mid-decade, including his mother's 1995 deathbed revelation of his actual biological father (who wanted nothing to do with von Trier after an initial meeting), von Trier definitively rebelled against his past. Along with converting to Catholicism, von Trier broke from the perfectionist style of his Europe trilogy, aiming to achieve the "honesty" he admired in Danish iconoclast Carl Theodore Dreyer's work with his own self-imposed artistic

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
60% Nymphomaniac: Volume II
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$0.3M 2014
75% Nymphomaniac: Volume I
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$0.7M 2014
No Score Yet Trespassing Bergman
  • Actor
2013
89% A Royal Affair
  • Executive Producer
$1.6M 2012
92% Side by Side
  • Lars von Trier
$29.1k 2012
No Score Yet The Story Of Film: An Odyssey: Parts 13-15
  • Actor
2012
79% Melancholia
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$3M 2011
80% The Story Of Film: An Odyssey
  • Actor
2011
50% Antichrist
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$0.3M 2009
No Score Yet Wasington
  • Director
2009
75% The Boss of it All (Direktøren for det hele)
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2007
50% Manderlay
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2006
36% Dear Wendy
  • Screenwriter
2005
88% The Five Obstructions
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2003
70% Dogville
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
$1.5M 2003
No Score Yet Lars Von Trier Under Glass
  • Director
2001
85% Zentropa
  • Screenwriter
2001
68% Dancer in the Dark
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
$2.9M 2000
70% The Idiots (Idioterne) (Dogma 95)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2000
No Score Yet De Udstillede (The Exhibited)
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Short - International Release
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Nocturne
  • Director
1999
No Score Yet Humiliated
  • Actor
1999
84% Breaking the Waves
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1996
33% Epidemic
  • Himself/Dr. Mesmer
1987
86% Medea
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1987
77% The Element of Crime
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Schmuck of Ages
  • Screenwriter
1984
No Score Yet Befrielsesbilleder (Image of Relief) (Images of Liberation)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1982

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Stephen King's 'Kingdom Hospital'
2004
  • Executive Producer
  • 2004
No Score Yet Kingdom Hospital
  • Executive Producer
No Score Yet The Kingdom
1994-1997
  • Director

Quotes from Lars von Trier's Characters

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