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Lars Von Trier's "Manderlay" is All Set


Lars Von Trier's anticipated Manderlay nominated for the Golden Palm met with some of the same scepticism that was leveled at Dogville two years ago. "I am 60% American, he claimed " even though I can't vote". "America is all around us", he replied, regarding, how he can make a film about a country he has never visited - except in fantasy. Manderlay has the same Brechtian set design as Dogville , this time the floor is white with black lines. With the debut of Bryce Dallas Howard, the star appeal of the leading lady has become a less important factor , all the better to grapple with the complex historical material of slavery in the USA. Howard takes over the helm from Nicole Kidman, and plays Grace, and her father is played by Willem Dafoe. The cast also includes Danny Glover and Isaach de Bankolé and with four ensemble members the second part of the trilogy has definitely downsized. Manderlay is set in the 1930's, and is the name of a plantation located somewhere in Alabama. A wrought iron gate, bolted with a padlock serves as the entrance to the palatial estate.

Danny Glover stated at the press conference that the industrial wealth of the USA was built on the system of slavery, a system that he feels that Von Trier is 'asking us to revisit'. De Bankolé brought up the realities of European racism aknowledging the international relevance of the film's theme.

When asked how he would feel about someone making a film about all the negative aspects of Denmark (the country has a distressing xenophobic wind blowing through the land) he replied, "I can't wait to see it!".

Bryce Dallas Howard said she would gladly work with Von Trier again-- and went as far as to say "I would amputate my toes" for the chance. Let's see if she defects like Björk and Kidman, though her enthusiasm is noted, whereas the other two leading ladies were in Von Trier meltdown by the time they reached Cannes.

Moira Sullivan

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Chatelin Bruno
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