The Boss of It All trailer online
Lars von Trier's first comedy film The Boss of It All (Direktøren for det hele) has a trailer online, and I also have a screener with a review waiting to be finished. Although the review isn't up yet, the trailer is and I have the links right here, as well as an interview with Lars von Trier himself.
The Boss of It All (Direktøren for det hele) is the story of an IT company who hires an actor to play the company's Director in order to help the business get sold.
The problem all started when the owner of the firm had to make some unpopular decisions, instead of facing up to them he created a fake Director for the company in order to hid behind and pretend that these were all his decisions. However when he goes to sell the company the potential purchasers want to talk to the Director himself, and so he hires an actor to play the part, and things soon become very complicated.
The trailer for The Boss of It All looks rather bizarre, but strangely attractive too. There's something about it that promises plenty of off-kilter humour, and I'm keen to watch the film now. What do you think, is this going to get a positive review?
The film was released on Friday 19th of February in the UK. You can see the trailer right here:
Here's the interview with Lars von Trier by Geoffrey McNab:
"Q: You issued a "Statement Of Revitality" earlier this year in which you said you planned to reschedule your professional activities in order to rediscover your original enthusiasm for film. Having made The Boss Of It All, are you now revitalised?
I just turned 50, you know. At that age you think of the things you dislike about your situation and you try to do something about it. I had this idea that I would have a longer time to prepare and to shoot my films. The idea was that I wouldn't be forced to produce all the time just because the company (Zentropa) needs the production, but in the end, The Boss Of It All was shot in five weeks. So you can scream all you want and it won't really help. But, you know, I like problems. Rules are challenging. They are there to create problems for you. . I just read "The Statement Of Revitality" again and it seems it will be very difficult to change anything.
Q: You say in your narration at the beginning of The Boss Of It All that this is a harmless comedy. Can a Lars von Trier film ever be harmless?
Well, I felt like saying that. I had been criticised for being too political and maybe I criticised myself for that...for being too political correct, actually. This is a film that was made very fast. This film is not political and I had fun doing it, but of course the good comedies are not harmless.
Q: Did it feel good to be working in Danish again?
It was very liberating and it felt so good. I am better in Danish. I am not saying I will only make films in Danish in future, but it was wonderful to make a small film with a small crew. I was relaxing a lot.
Q: You are opening the film at the Copenhagen Film festival. Did you miss being in
It was a choice we made, not to apply for Cannes, and I was happy about it. I have been very happy for my other films to be there in the past and Gilles Jacob (at Cannes) has done a lot for me, but it's so nice not to have to do a lot of things you don't like - like the journey, the pressure on you at the festival. I am staying here in Denmark which is very nice, especially in May when I have my vegetables to look after.
Q: When did you come up with the idea of making a comedy?
I had the idea for a film about a company director who doesn't really exist a long, long time ago, but I thought at first I would give it to someone else. It's an old idea but it was written just before we filmed it.
Q: What is the secret of making a successful comedy?
The only thing you can do is something you yourself find funny and that entertains you.
Q: How would you define the Danish sense of humour?
It is quite characteristic that Danes love to hear that they are stupid. Maybe it's that this is a small country and the people are quite masochistic. They loved it in The Kingdom when people talked about the stupid Danes. Here, when the Icelandic people scream at them and say all these nasty things, they really love it.
Q: In the film, there is a clear tension between the Danish company and the Icelandic company
that wants to buy it. What is going on right now between Denmark and Iceland? The fact is that we have a lot of Icelandic people who are buying most of Copenhagen right now. For 400 years, Iceland was under the Danish Crown. All the Icelandic people hate the Danes in that sense. They have freaked themselves out about the Danes. There is this scar from these 400 years that is rightfully there.
Q: You're the founder of Zentropa and you're a filmmaker. Do you see yourself as
the boss of it all?
Well, the good cop/bad cop idea is a very efficient way of solving problems. We have a good cop and a bad cop here with me and Peter Aalbaek Jensen (at Zentropa). If it is to do with actors and crew, then I'm the good cop, but there are some situations where I am the bad cop and Peter will be the good cop. It is very un-Danish to be a bad cop. Everyone in Denmark wants to be a good cop, but the bad cop is someone who is needed. As soon as you go to the UK or US, the bad cops are there because they are needed, but the Danish people are very, very afraid of conflict.
Q: Can the film be read as an allegory about Zentropa?
That is what the actors said, but I hadn't thought about it. With Zentropa, my idea was only that we could produce and control the things I directed. Peter Aalbaek Jensen and I are a little strange. We like to have a good time and do strange things. I think it can be entertaining to work at Zentropa. It is not just another production company. There is not a clear idea behind it. It is more intuitive. We are not brought up to say that the money coming in is the most important thing.
Q: The film is very dialogue-based. Did you deliberately avoid visual gags?
When I was a kid, I saw a lot of screwball comedies. I used to like comedies like Bringing Up Baby and The Odd Couple, with a lot of talking heads. I love Philadelphia Story and The Shop Around The Corner. That was what I tried to do, something like that. These screwball comedies need to have this idea that some people know something that others don't. On top of that, I put a moral story about how someone could use this fictional company director to treat his workers really poorly. That became another level."