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Dogme is a search for truth, a rather abstract ambition. It should be noticed, however, that it concerns truth inside a fictional universe.
The Dogme 95 manifesto, if we sum up the important points of its method and philosophy, is directed at “certain tendencies” in contemporary film, offering a “rescue action” that is basically opposed to “the auteur concept” and “bourgeois” cinema: “We must put our films into uniform, because the individual film will be decadent by definition! ” In order to counter that, and in regard to a situation where “a technological storm is raging, the result of which will be the ultimate democratization of the cinema”, a set of rules, the so-called “Vow of Chastity”, is prescribed: 1) the shooting must be done on location and no props brought in; 2) the sound and images must be produced together; 3) the camera must be handheld; 4) the film must be in color; 5) optical work and filters are forbidden, as well as 6) superficial action; 7) the film must take place here and now; 8) genre films are not allowed; 9) the format must be Academy 35 mm, and 10) the director must not be credited. At the end it is announced that the Dogme director must “refrain from personal taste” and “from creating a “work””, and must give up being “an artist”. Lars von Trier’s invention Dogme 95 has been celebrated by some as one of the most important events in European film history and dismissed by others as a publicity stunt.This article recounts the history of Dogme 95 and examines its effects on Danish cinema.