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Dogville [DVD] [2004]

3.8 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Nicole Kidman
  • Directors: Lars Von Trier
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Aug. 2004
  • Run Time: 177 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00029QXAK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,893 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Unusual, theatrical drama by pioneering director Lars Von Trier, co-founder of the Dogme film movement - which uses pared-down filming techniques inspired by Bertolt Brecht. The entire film is shot on a bare wooden sound stage without special effects or artificial lighting, the streets and homes are drawn in chalk, and characters come and go through imaginary doors. All the characters are on stage all the time, whether they are involved in a scene or not, and the story is narrated throughout by John Hurt. An intense study of an incomer to an isolated community, the film stars Nicole Kidman as Grace, a beautiful fugitive with a dangerous secret. Arriving in the small town of Dogville in the Rocky Mountains in the 1930s, she offers her services to the people of the town in return for a safe place to hide. The townsfolk (played by Paul Bettany, Patricia Clarkson, Ben Gazzara, Chloe Sevigny, Blair Brown and Lauren Bacall among others) reluctantly agree to shelter Grace for two weeks. But as it becomes increasingly dangerous to harbour her, they come to expect favours from Grace, and the more she gives, the greater her obligations become.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was a bit nervous when I first put this into the DVD player - I have a low pretension threshold, and everything that I had seen about this film before I watched it had my pretension antennae throbbing. However, this film is anything but: it is a brilliant exploration of human nature and society, seen through the lens of a small isolated town and the effects on the townsfolk of the arrival of a stranger in their midst.

Filmed on a minimal set, where the street and houses are represented by mere chalk lines, and with characters that almost seem like sketches of characters at first, it uses the minimalism to good effect, to produce a complex and subtle tale which is driven by the characters and the story rather than the physical impedimenta. It allows a deeper insight into the motivations of each character. And the minimalist set has the great effect of keeping most of the characters on screen and visible for most of the film, even when they are not directly involved. Watching them going about their normal lives in the background is almost as fascinating as the front of stage story. Hats off to Lars Von Treir and all of the actors, they put in so much effort you really do start to believe that this IS an ordinary town and not just a series of chalk mark in a playground.

The story is that of Nicole Kidman's Grace, who stumbles into the town under mysterious circumstances. The town agree to shelter her, on their terms which become increasingly unbearable. The film builds slowly towards a disturbing climax. It's got a great rhythm, drawing you along from minor event to minor event, working its way slowly up to a giant crescendo of an ending that will leave you exhausted.
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Format: DVD
I've gone back and forth between thinking that this film is incredibly sick and incredibly brilliant. I still can't make up my mind, so all I can say is that is the most unique film I have ever seen: a very sick and amazing film, showing the darkness of the human heart when there are no rules to protect its victim. It starts out very slow, but gets good after 30 minutes (it is nearly 3 hours long). The violence of this film surpasses Pulp Fiction, but in a much more subtle way (if I was to say any more I would give the whole film away). The symbolism is worthy of analysis...a film student could write for days about what they see in this film...and afterwards, your mind will be racing and trying to make sense of it all. This is, in my opinion, the best work Nicole Kidman has ever done.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is a brilliant study on the darker side of human nature. Most films have clearly defined 'good guys' and 'bad guys' but as we know circumstances can bring out the worst in good people (and vice versa). In Dogville, even the most phosophical character proves to be a coward in the name of self-preservation and Grace, the film's victim, finally snaps, providing a shocking conclusion (similar to the central character in Von Trier's Europa) when lured by power.

It is the more subtle touches that stick in my mind, such as the Latin inscription above the mine (no sooner said than done) and the references to changes in light - the inexplicable way situations in life can change for no apparent reason. I also think it's a good analogy of village life - nice on the surface, but a whole lot of venom awaits anybody who challenges the status quo.

Like many of Von Trier's films the pace builds to a nightmarish crescendo. A whole book could be written analysing this film's message and one of the characters was even attempting to do this. Self referencing, tragic, in fact all the director's traits that you know and love.
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Format: DVD
Yes, its right what other reviewers have said. This film is filmed entireley on a stage. HOWEVER, this does not take anything away from the film & those who 'dont get it' are probably too impatient or are expecting the film to be boring based on its looks & are not paying attention. In the film the Buildings walls are just drawn in white on the black stage floor & there are very little props or effects, but this helps you focus on the characters in the film rather than being distracted from the story by any 'eyecandy'. The 1st Rape scene in the film springs to mind as it is made that more effective due to the lack of walls because we get to see how the other people of Dogville carry on as normal with their lives & are unaware whilst the act is being carried out. Whether this was Lars Von Triers plan, or whether he ran out of cash due to the fine cast of Actors obtained I dont know (Kidmans Make up crew earned more than Lars did on this film!). Maybe its a bit of both. Anyway if you are like me & you watch quite a few subtitled films you gradually forget that you are reading & get drawn into the story & the same applies here.
The film is beautifully Narrated by John Hurt but story is very sad indeed & makes u question how people are so easily corrupted by greed, lust & hatred. Nevertheless, Lars always manages to end his films in a way you could never have imagined & boy, what an ending it is!!!.
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