In bad com­pany

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film reviews - MD

THE BOSS OF IT ALL Di­rected by Lars von Trier. Star­ring Jens Al­bi­nus, Peter Gant­zler, Fridrik Thor Fridriks­son, Iben Hje­jle, Jean-Marc Barr

15 cert Af­ter his te­dious, ir­ri­tat­ing Dogville and Man­der­lay, von Trier light­ens up and gets back to ba­sics with a se­ri­ous com­edy. The Boss of It All is set in a Copen­hagen com­pany, where the boss (Gant­zler) ma­nip­u­lates his hard-work­ing staff, pre­tend­ing to re­port to a non-ex­is­tent US owner. Plan­ning to sell his com­pany to an Ice­landic busi­ness­man, he hires an ac­tor (Al­bi­nus) to pose as the owner.

Von Trier is the off-screen nar­ra­tor, self-con­sciously draw­ing at­ten­tion to the ar­ti­fice of film­mak­ing. He em­ploys a new cam­era process, Au­tomav­i­sion, whereby the cam­era chooses the shots, which re­sults in shots that don’t match in terms of light­ing, and heads get cut out of the frame.

Go­ing di­rectly to DVD here, the film is an amus­ing di­ver­sion that re­calls Frank Capra’s 1930s moral­ity tales and shares many pre­oc­cu­pa­tions with The Of­fice, be­ing al­most as cringe-in­duc­ing in the em­bar­rass­ments it sets up.

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