Danish writer/director Lars von Trier has written some of the most interesting films to date: Dancer In The Dark, Dogville and Breaking the Waves, just to name a few. His new film Manderlay has already stirred up some controversy over its content. In fact, there seems to be no plans to even release the film in the United States. The film depicts the lives of slaves on the fictional plantation of Manderlay. This is the second movie of his “USA-Land of Opportunities” trilogy (Dogville was the first.)
Von Trier is teaming up once again with director Thomas Vinterberg to bring another movie to the US, which includes his trademark view on American culture. The film is called Dear Wendy.
Story-wise, this film (which was first released at Sundance) already looks good. Set in what looks like a cross between a post-apocolypse desert and a New Jersey suburb, the movie follows Dick, a young loner who finds a gun and becomes strangely drawn to it, despite his extremely pacifist views. He forms a group of misfits to create the Dandies, a group of gun-toting teens who reserve the right to bear arms, but refuse to use them. Based on the preview, the group gets together and basically has organized target practices where they perfect each of their individual style of shooting. Each member has a “partner” (gun) which they name and they all dress like Neo-Bohemian Cowboys. Everything is fine until the appearance of Sebastian, who it appears is the trouble maker. He also becomes the love interest of Susan, the only female in the group and the one who just happens to be Dick's love interest.
What's interesting, (again based on the preview) is that Sebastian is the only black character in the film it seems. What's interesting is his gun is the most modern of the group. What's interesting is that he is the only one who thinks that what the rest of them are doing is nuts. And when it comes down to it, he's going to be the reason why they will actually have to use their weapons as weapons.
Lars Von Trier does not hide his opinions of American life and culture (he barely veils his obsession with it). And for a man who supposedly has never even set foot in the USA, he's got a lot to say. Though his points are (sadly) true, he does look at things in extremes, which is where most of the contraversies surrounding his films lie. It's hard to say how extreme Dear Wendy is. It's also hard to say what the real story is, considering that previews can either give away the entire plot or totally screw up the story. Regardless, the film looks provocative and well worth the 8-10 bucks you'll probably have to pay to see it.
Dear Wendy opens in theaters September 23rd.