Keswick Film Festival

A Celebration Of Dogme

It is now 20 years since Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg established the Dogme school of film making. There were 10 basic tenets (the Vow of Chastity) that Directors were obliged to follow in an effort to protest against the decadent illusionism of contemporary cinema:

I swear to the following set of rules drawn up and confirmed by Dogme 95:

  1. Shooting must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in.
  2. The sound must never be produced apart from the image or vice-versa.
  3. The camera must be handheld. Any movement or mobility attainable in the hand is permitted.
  4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable.
  5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
  6. The film must not contain superficial action.
  7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden.
  8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
  9. The film format must be Academy 35mm.
  10. The director must not be credited.

We are pleased to show Dogme 1, 2 and 4 as an homage to this influential movement.


Sunday 1st March 11:00 AM - Studio (TBTL)
The King is Alive
Kristian Levring (2000) Sweden/Denmark/USA 110 mins 15

This film is Dogme 4. In the Namibian desert in southwest Africa, a tourist bus strays far off course and runs out of petrol. The passengers stumble into the blinding sun and find themselves at an abandoned German mining station. Jack the only passenger with any desert experience lectures them: There are five things you need to survive in the desert, and in descending order of importance they are water, food, shelter, making yourself visible and keeping up your spirits.

Thanks to Danish Film Institute

Sunday 1st March 1:30 PM - Studio (TBTL)
The Idiots
Lars Von Trier (1998) Denmark 117 mins 18

This film is Dogme 2. Director Lars von Trier made this, his own first (and only) 'Dogme 95' film, several years after originating the concept with his colleague Thomas Vinterberg. While not for everyone, von Trier's devotion to intellectual inventiveness in his art is apparent. At the end of The Idiots we may feel it was so realistic that we struggle to remember it was only a work of fiction and didn't actually happen. Documentary-style interviews with members of the commune force us to continually evaluate what we are watching. However offensive or intentionally clumsy, its influence cannot easily be denied.

Thanks to Danish Film Institute

Sunday 1st March 4:15 PM - Studio (TBTL)
Thomas Vinterberg (1998) Denmark 105 mins 15

This film is Dogme 1 - Dogme in its first incarnation. It proved much more approachable than it might have looked on paper and the rules under which it was made turn out to be a gift and an opportunity for a talented director with a sparkling story about the childhood secrets revealed by a son on the occasions of his father’s 60th birthday party. Festen is a delicious exercise in controlled, cathartic anarchy, worth watching for its singular, poignant story, its mirth and its fearlessness.

Thanks to Metrodome

Supported by Film Hub North, led by Showroom Workstation. Proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network

Film Hub North BFI Film Audience Network