Dogma 95

Dogmas 95 was a filmmaking movement started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg , who created the “Dogma 95 Manifesto” and the “Vows of Chastity” ( Danish : kyskhedsløfter ). These are rules to create filmmaking based on the traditional values ​​of story, acting, and theme, and excluding the use of elaborate special effects or technology. It was an attempt to take over power for the director as artist, as opposed to the studio. [1] They Were later joined by fellow Danish directors Kristian Levring and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen , forming the Dogme 95 Collective or theDogme Brethren . Dogma ( pronounced [dɒwmə] ) is the Danish word for dogma .


Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg wrote and co-signed the manifesto and its companion “vows”. Vinterberg said that they wrote the pieces in 45 minutes. [2] The manifesto INITIALLY mimics the wording of François Truffaut ‘s 1954 essay “A Certain Tendency of French Cinema” in Cahiers du cinema .

They announced the Dogma movement on March 13, 1995 in Paris , at the cinema towards its second century conference. The cinema world was gathered to celebrate the first century of motion pictures and contemplate the future of commercial cinema. Called upon to speak about the future of film, Lars von Trier, with audience, pamphlets announcing “Dogma 95”.

In response to criticism, Trier and Vinterberg have both stated that they want to establish a new extreme: “In a business of extremely high budgets, we figured we should balance the dynamic as much as possible.” quote needed ]

The first of the Dogma films (Dogme # 1) was Vinterberg’s 1998 film Festen ( The Celebration ). It was critically acclaimed and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year. Lars von Trier’s Dogma movie, Idioterne ( The Idiots ), also premiered at Cannes that year but was less successful. Since the two films have been released, other directors have made films based on Dogma principles. French-American actor and director Jean-Marc Barr was the first non-Dane to direct a Dogma movie: Lovers (1999) (Dogma # 5). The American Harmony Korine’s movieJulien Donkey-Boy (Dogma # 6) was also considered a Dogma film.

The end credits of Het Zuiden ( South ) (2004), directed by Martin Koolhoven , included thanks to “Dogma 95”. Koolhoven originally planned to shoot a Dogma movie, and it was co-produced by Trier’s Zentropa . Finally, the director decided not to be so severely constrained by Dogma principles.

Since the late 2000s, the emergence of video technology in DSLR photography cameras, such as the Canon EOS 550D , has resulted in a tremendous surge of both features and movies. manifesto. However, because of advancements in technology and quality, the aesthetic of these products typically appears to be different from that of the dogma films shot on tape or DVD-R camcorders. Largely erasing the primitive and problematic features of past technologies, newer technologies have helped Dogme 95 filmmakers achieve an aesthetic of higher resolution, more contrast, film grain, and saturation.

Goals and rules

The goal of the collective Dogma is to purify filmmaking by expensive and spectacular special effects, post-production modifications and other technical gimmicks . The filmmakers focus on the story and the actors’ performances. They believe this approach may be more engaging with the audience, as they are not alienated or distracted by overproduction. To this end, Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg produced ten rules to which any dogma film must conform. These rules, referred to as the “Vow of Chastity,” are as follows: [1]

  1. Shooting must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in (if a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found).
  2. The sound must never be produced from the pictures or vice versa . (Music must not be used where the scene is being shot .)
  3. The camera must be hand-held. Any movement or immobility is possible.
  4. The film must be in color. Special lighting is not acceptable. (If there is too little light for exposure, the scene must be cut to a single lamp be attached to the camera).
  5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
  6. The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
  7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now.)
  8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
  9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm .
  10. The director must not be credited.

Uses and abuses

The above rules have been both circumvented and broken by the first Dogma film to be produced. For instance, Vinterberg “confessed” to being covered in a window during the shooting of a scene in The Celebration ( Festen ). With this, he both brought aprop onto the set and used “special lighting.” Trier used background music ( The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns ) in the movie The Idiots ( Idioterne ). Korine’s Julien Donkey-Boy features two scenes with non-diegetic music, multiple shots with non-handheld, hidden cameras and a non-diegetic prop. Sort, however, praised the film’s transgressions on an interview released on theEpidemic DVD.

Since 2002 and the 31st movie, a filmmaker no longer needs to be verified by Dogme 95 work. The founding “brothers” have begun working on the subject of a new interpretation of the world. The movement broke up in 2005. [3]

Notable Dogma movies

Complete list is available from the Dogme95 web site .

  • Dogma # 1: Festen
  • Dogma # 2: The Idiots
  • Dogma # 3: Mifune’s Last Song
  • Dogma # 4: The King Is Alive
  • Dogma # 5: Lovers
  • Dogma # 6: Julien Donkey-Boy
  • Dogma # 8: Fuckland
  • Dogma # 12: Italian for Beginners
  • Dogma # 14: Joy Ride
  • Dogma # 18: Truly Human
  • Dogma # 21: Kira’s Reason: A Love Story
  • Dogma # 23: Resin
  • Dogma # 28: Open Hearts
  • Dogma # 31: El desenlace

Use of concept

The 2001 experimental film Hotel , directed by Mike Figgis , makes several references to the Dogma 95 style of filmmaking, and has been described as “Dogma film-within-a-film”. [4] [5]

The use of ‘Dogma 95’ style filming is in a list of a hostage taker ‘s demands in the Black Mirror episode, ” The National Anthem “.

Keyboard player and music producer Money Mark used the principles of Dogma 95 to record his Mark’s Keyboard Repair album. [6]


In 2015, The Museum of Arts and Design Celebrated the Movement with the Retrospective The Director Must Not Be Credited: 20 Years of Dogma 95 . The retrospective include work by Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Jean-Marc Barr, Daniel H. Byun, Harmony Korine, Kristian Levring, Annette K. Olesen, and Lone Scherfig. [7] [8]

Notable figures

  • Thomas Vinterberg
  • Lars Von Trier
  • Søren Kragh-Jacobsen
  • Kristian Levring
  • Jean-Marc Barr
  • Anthony Dod Mantle
  • Paprika Steen
  • Harmony Korine
  • Susanne Bier
  • Richard Martini

See also

  • Category: Dogme 95 movies
  • minimalism
  • Realism (arts)
  • Pluginmanifesto
  • New Puritans
  • Stuckism
  • New Sincerity
  • Remodernism
  • Remodernist movie
  • Post-postmodernism

Notes and references

  1. ^ Jump up to:Utterson b , Andrew (2005). Technology and Culture, the Film Reader . Routledge. ISBN  978-0-415-31985-0 .
  2. Jump up^ Krause, Stefanie (2007). The Implementation of the ‘Vow of Chastity’ in Jan Dunn’s “Gypo” . Verlag. ISBN  978-3-638-76811-5 .
  3. Jump up^ Kristian Levring interview(viaInternet Archive)
  4. Jump up^ Brook, Tom (6 April 2002), Figgis unlocks Hotel’s secrets , BBC News , retrieved 2014-02-01
  5. Jump up^ Ebert, Roger (26 Sep 2003), Hotel , Roger Ebert , retrieved 2014-02-03
  6. Jump up^
  7. Jump up^ “The Director Must Not Be Credited: 20 Years of Dogma 95” . Museum of Arts and Design . Museum of Arts and Design . Retrieved 5 August 2015 .
  8. Jump up^ Berman, Judy. “What Dogme 95 did for women directors” . The Dissolve . Pitchfork Media, Inc . Retrieved 5 August 2015 .