Gus Van Sant VS. Lars Van Trier

We are prone to making comparisions, blame it on a liberal arts education. We call Lebron James the black Margret Thatcher (freedom of labour markets under the guise of private corporate incentives, HOLLER). These are two directors with three names. One of them made a great TV show about a haunted hospital and a bunch of high art films waltzing around in meangingful dresses; the other one made a bunch a films that have been about the romance of junkies and some street guys who were good at math. We are preferential to one Gus. But first Lars.

What is the story? To make something to challenge us as the audience is fine, but there should be joy in overcoming that challenge, something we are better for. In the Element Of Crime or in Dogville there was none of that beyond the feeling that the director was making a statement. Statements are great. But in making them the audience should feel the joy of having pushed the rock up the hill, knowing that the misery of it was worth something. Dancer in the Dark was not about that, neither was nothing else we have seen of his.

Vague imagery, congested dialogues, heavy handed symbolism is really 11th grade stuff maaaaan. Look at Gus Van Sant. He is doing things: giving imagery and voice to the boys in Columbine, giving life to the last few days of Kurt Cobain in there retarded junkie realness.

So we, being the judge and jury in this particular face off – Gus Van Sant wins!

BONG BONG

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