Lars von Trier submitted ‘Orchidégartneren’ AKA ‘The Orchid Gardener’ (1977) as part of his application to film school. Many of the aesthetic and thematic fetishes of his later feature length films (including the Dogme 95 films and his more recent return to the ‘fantastic’ in ‘Antichrist,’ ‘Melancholia,’ and the recent ‘Nymphomaniac’) are already evident here. The film, as its subtitle says, tells “part of the story of Victor Marse”, an artist (played by Lars himself).
“As well as setting his magnificent ‘Europa’ in a post-fascist Berlin, first student films also had a strong Nazi theme; at 21, he made a film called ‘The Orchid Gardener’ where he played the lead as a misogynistic transvestite in a Nazi uniform, killing pigeons. More than 20 years later, at the press conference for ‘Melacholia’ in Cannes, he famously said: ‘What can I say? I understand Hitler. He did some wrong things, absolutely, but I can see him sitting there in his bunker at the end… I sympathise with him, yes, a little bit.’ He followed this with the instant, if super-awkard, retract ‘I am very much in favour of the jews.’” —Ten things you didn’t know about Lars von Trier
Begining with ‘Nocturne,’ a short film produced in his early 20s (the effort earned him the Best Film award at the Munich International Festival of Film Schools), his precocious talent was cemented when his 1982 student film ‘Images of Liberation’ was the first ever to recieve a nationwide theatrical release in Denmark. Since then, he’s made an indelable impact on modern cinema.
Embeded below is ‘En Blomst’ (1971), a short film Lars von Trier made when he was 15. “The 1971 film, shot by the then 15-year-old director who was going as Lars Trier, shows signs of the sensibility for a bit of shock that he would develop later on. The music choices and even the ‘plot’ all seem like ingredients he would use in later efforts, but mostly, this seven-minute movie is a nice peek of a director developing his skills.” —Kevin Jagernauth
“I think it’s important that we all try to give something to this medium, instead of just thinking about what is the most efficient way of telling a story or making an audience stay in a cinema.” —Lars von Trier
For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going: