Film Review: The Boss of It All (Direktøren for det hele)
Director: Lars Von Trier
Von Trier makes a point of breaking cinematic convention with The Boss of it All. In the opening sequence he introduces the film in a voice over narrative. We see the reflection of a camera crane in the glass of an office building. Closer inspection reveals Von Trier himself reflected - exposing clearly the apparatus of film production.
This black comedy features Jens Albinus (The Idiots) as the Boss. An unemployed actor with delusions of grandure, he is both pretentious and intoxicated by his role. Ravn (Peter Gantzler) cowardly employs his services to negotiate an important contract with a hard-boiled Icelandic businessmen (Friðrik Þór Friðriksson). The Boss is a device by which Ravn may take unpopular actions, without incurring the wrath of his staff.
The theme of deception takes a tortuous route through the personal and business relationships of the company staff. Yet Von Trier maintains a fleeting touch, enabling us to laugh as the Boss embeds himself ever deeper into a web of strife.
Von Trier has used a kind of generative technique to frame each shot. A computer is used to generate parameters for camera position, zoom and tilt. This deliberately negates the received rules of framing and composition used in film.
Von Trier says: “I think what surprises me in a positive way is that you actually see the film differently because you have to look for the [characters]. In a normal film, you will know exactly where the next person would be in the frame because you know all these framing rules. Here you actually have to look around; it might take a split second, but you still have to work a little harder.”
Unconventional cinematic technique and strong performances draw the viewer into an unreal world - an alternate reality where the business of IT is described with shakespearian eloquence and framed with a watchful, engaging eye.