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The Five Obstructions

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Director: Jørgen Leth, Lars Von Trier
2003 / 90min / 35mm

“I can’t remember when I saw this film. I was probably in grad school in my early twenties when I first went to NYU for my art education degree. It’s an experimental documentary where Lars von Trier challenges another filmmaker, Jørgen Leth, to remake a film of his [1967’s The Perfect Human] five different times under different circumstances, with different obstructions… You’re forced to think about the patterns in your practice; how can you challenge yourself to work outside of those habits in order to create something new? It’s remixing, and that’s what I do in my work; I’m collaging, I’m repeating motifs and symbols over time. I also try to teach and challenge my students to experiment, because the spirit of experimentation is, I think, the key to longevity, to renewing your love for what you do.”—Alexandria Smith

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