...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

October 11, 2007

The Boss of It All - 6

Lars Von Trier tends to make dark and intense films: Breaking the Waves (which I should probably see again, right Paul?), Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, and its close to disturbing sequel- Manderlay. Here he has made a wonderful and funny comedy. Set in a small IT company in Denmark, the founder wants to sell and make the most money for himself, at the expense of his co-workers and partners. So he makes up a fictitious boss from America and blames any problems and hard decisions on him. This makes him popular with everybody. But when he finally needs to sell he needs to actually get "the Boss" that he has created to sign. Easy enough he'll hire an actor to pretend to be the boss and sign. Kristoffer takes on the job, and he takes his acting very seriously. The humor comes when he has to be around for a few days getting to know the employee's and figuring out what emails he apparently sent and received. In the process he must decide the moral character of "the Boss" that he is playing and decide whether he would really sell the company, and how much he wants to be liked and applauded. It is truly a great comedy of errors.
Trier interrupts his own story at points to make you aware that you are watching a film and to bring out the significance of the film as a metaphor for what we do in our own lives. We make similar moral choices and often they are driven more by manipulation than by what is true. In the end, it is a film about the moral meaning of art's ability or inability to tell the truth.

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