Magrath On Von Trier

It had to happen eventually. Sometimes, a well-known filmmaker is chosen for Hyphenates, and we’ll often have no idea which direction the discussion will go. But with directors like Lars Von Trier, you have a pretty solid idea of what kind of discussion is about to take place.

Sure enough, the question of whether he’s an empty provocateur or a misunderstood genius is one that forms the backbone to this episode – but we doubt most Von Trier debates are half as entertaining as the one we’ve had with the brilliant Cassandra Magrath, who was the perfect person to help us see out 2018.

And speaking of seeing out 2018, we also continued our tradition of ending the year with a comparison of our favourite films from said year. Prepare to be completely and utterly shocked, or even just mildly surprised. We’d be happy with mildly surprised.

But before we get to all that, we kick off by looking back at some of the key films of the month, including Alfonso Cuarón’s biographical drama Roma, Yorgos Lanthimos’s acerbic historical comedy The Favourite, Susanne Bier’s sensory apocalyptic thriller Bird Box, and Gaspar Noé’s dance-filled horror Climax.

Further reading:

  • If you’re not up to date on Aussie podcasts putting people behind bars, read this, then catch up on Teacher’s Pet
  • The story about John C Reilly dropping out of Manderlay can be read here
  • Thanks again to Umbrella Entertainment for giving us an advance copy of Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built – keep an eye on their website for news on the release
  • Weirdly enough, the (faked) scene of animal cruelty from that film has been praised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
  • Here’s some more detail on that whole Von Trier/Nazi/Cannes controversy
  • The story behind Lars discovering the shocking identity of his real father (which gives more context to the whole Nazi thing) can be read here
  • If you’re wondering why we kept talking about “Dogme 95” without really explaining it (sorry), you can read the manifesto here
  • And if you want to compare them to Soderbergh’s rules for 2002’s Full Frontal and see if Lee is just playing favourites, you can read his list here
  • If this episode left you hungry for more passionate pro-Von Trier opinions, it’s worth checking out this piece by Amy Simmons over at Senses of Cinema

Outro music: Young Americans by David Bowie from Dogville (2003)

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Cassandra Magrath talking the films of Lars Von Trier, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed directly from our website.

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