Variety is reporting that Martin Scorsese is teaming up with Lars Von Trier to make a film called The Five Obstructions.
Von Trier fans will know that this is already a title of a film that the insane Dane made back in 2003 with his mentor Jørgen Leth, an experimental documentary that showed Leth making five remakes of his own short film (Von Trier’s favorite) The Perfect Human. These weren’t straight remakes, however, they were challenges for Leth, who was given five different stipulations in the creation of each one. This is what they were-
- Remake the film in Cuba and make no shot longer than 12 frames. (That’s half a second.) Leth does it, and brings Von Trier back some cigars.
- Remake the film in the worst place in the world but not show that place onscreen. Leth chooses the red light district of Mumbai, which von Trier doesn’t agree with after a delicious meal there.
- Leth failed task 2 in von Trier’s eyes so he is punished, forced to either go back to India to do it again or remake it as a free-style film- Leth chooses this and remakes it in Brussels using split-screen effects.
- Remake the film as a cartoon. Leth fails at this too because he makes a film with rotoscoping, not animation.
- The fifth is a twist- von Trier has his own remake that Leth has to credit as his own, as well as narrate a voice-over narration seemingly from his perspective but in fact written by von Trier.
So if you’re starting to get the idea of what this new project will be, you should be excited. We’re going to see Scorsese challenged and forced to direct at the top of his game. The obstructions will be new, of course, which is sad, because I would have loved to see him shoot in Staten Island for #2.
The Five Obstructions will start shooting next year and be co-produced by Von Trier’s Zentropa Real and Scorsese’s Sikelia Productionss.