There are many reasons I am glad that Lars Von Trier is out in the world, playing with film, and one is that he actually plays with film. Sometimes that playfulness is also quite perverse — OK, it is often perverse — but that’s still valuable. Dogme was an attempt to set boundaries in which films could be made with an artistic (and consequently a political) freedom from the tropes of Hollywood filmmaking. And The Five Obstructions, in which LVT challenged Jorgen Leth to remake his short The Perfect Human in five ways, with different ‘obstructions’ in his way each time, was another way to play with the creative boundaries of filmmaking.

Over a year ago, a meeting between Lars Von Trier and Martin Scorsese produced the rumor that LVT might remake Taxi Driver, possibly in a framework like The Five Obstructions. That was quickly denied, but that denial said that Lars Von Trier wasn’t going to remake Taxi Driver. What if Martin Scorsese would? Now there is confirmation from their respective production companies that both directors will participate in The Five Obstructions (yep, same title) and the unconfirmed rumor is that Martin Scorsese’s narrative material will indeed be Taxi Driver. Read More »