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CANNES – The creator of Antichrist and the helmer of Taxi Driver will collaborate on their next project. Danish director Lars von Trier and Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese are teaming up for a remake of The Five Obstructions, von Trier’s 2003 documentary deconstructing the film making process.
In the original Five Obstructions, von Trier challenged fellow Danish director Jorgen Leth to remake his 1967 short film The Perfect Human five times, each time giving him a set of strict rules, or obstructions, that he had to follow. In one version, no edit is allowed to last more than 12 frames, or about half a second. In another Leth has to shoot in a slum in Bombay. Another version is an anime. After each attempt, Leth and von Trier meet to discuss the results and von Trier gives Leth his next challenge.
The project has echoes of the Dogme 95 movement, which von Trier co-founded. In Dogme, directors had to follow certain strict rules, including always using a handheld camera, never using artificial light and always shooting on location.
It’s unclear which of Scorcese’s films will form the basis of the Five Obstructions remake. Possibilities include remakes of Scorsese’s earlier shorts, such as The Big Shave (1968) or What’s a Girl Like You Doing In A Place Like This? (1963) or remakes of one of the many iconic scenes in Scorcese’s feature length films. Earlier this year there had been speculation, denied by von Trier, that he was interested in remaking Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, suggesting that iconic film could form the basis of this new project. TrustNordisk will handle international sales on the project.
The new Five Obstructions will be done as co-production between Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions and von Trier’s documentary shingle Zentropa Real. Emma Tillinger Koskoff is production for Sikelia and Carsten Holst and Louise Vesth on behalf of Zentropa Real. Shooting is expected to start next year, after Scorsese finishes shooting on the Daniel Day-Lewis starrer Silence, set to begin early 2012.
Scorcese’s next film, the 3-D period drama Hugo Cabret starring Johnny Depp, Chloe Moretz and Jude Law hits theaters this November. Von Trier’s Melancholia, featuring Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Alexander Skarsgard, premieres in Competition in Cannes next week.
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