Politics and open-ended dialectics in Lars von Trier's Dogville: A Post-Brechtian Critique

Koutsourakis, Angelos (2013) Politics and open-ended dialectics in Lars von Trier's Dogville: A Post-Brechtian Critique. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 11 3: 334-353. doi:10.1080/17400309.2012.750537


Author Koutsourakis, Angelos
Title Politics and open-ended dialectics in Lars von Trier's Dogville: A Post-Brechtian Critique
Formatted title
Politics and open-ended dialectics in Lars von Trier's Dogville: A Post-Brechtian Critique
Journal name New Review of Film and Television Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1740-0309
Publication date 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17400309.2012.750537
Open Access Status
Volume 11
Issue 3
Start page 334
End page 353
Total pages 20
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Dogville is one of the few films by Lars von Trier that has been consistently discussed by the critics in relation to Brecht. Then again, most of the discussions of the film have offered a canonical reading which understands Dogville to be a single-minded anti-American parable. These readings have paralysed any fruitful investigations of the film's form and the historical transitions that have changed the ways in which art attains its political function. This paper reads Dogville under the rubric of the post-Brechtian so as to rethink the political implications of the film's form. I focus on the film's employment of theatricality, performativity, and narrative aperture, arguing that the film generates contradictions that resist epistemological mastery. The paper proposes that Dogville goes beyond the closed form of the Brechtian Fabel, and Brecht's quest for dialectical enlightenment is replaced by open-ended dialectics.
Keyword Brecht
Lars Von Trier
Open-Ended Dialectics
Performativity
Post-Brechtian
Theatricality
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Communication and Arts Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 06 Jul 2015, 15:25:03 EST by Ms Stormy Wehi on behalf of School of Communication and Arts