Lars Von Trier and Martin Scorsese Will Team For a New ‘The Five Obstructions’

Well, this is the most head-explodingly film nerdy news I’ve heard in a while. Weirdo Danish director Lars Von Trier is planning on doing another take on The Five Obstructions, and this time the subject of his torture is going to be film legend Martin Scorsese. For those that don’t know, The Five Obstructions was a 2003 film project in which Von Trier challenged filmmaker Jorgen Leth to remake his 1967 short film The Perfect Human five times, each time with a different constrictive rule (or obstruction) in place. Even for a guy who made something like Antichrist, this is a pretty weird idea, but it turned out to be hugely interesting. It used obstructions like the remake must be an animation, or it must contain no shots longer than 12 frames, or it must be made in the most miserable place in the world. It’s hard to explain how things developed without seeing it for yourself, maybe you should just go ahead and watch the original on Netflix to get up to speed.

Speculating on what film Von Trier and Scorsese’s version of this process is going to remake, and what the new obstructions are going to be is enough to make a person go mad. Could he have to film a remake of Kundun set in the Bronx? Maybe film a version of Taxi Driver with all of the violence cut out? Remake Mean Streets with Nicolas Cage playing every role? Or maybe, if Von Trier decided to get really cruel, could he have to remake one of his films from the past ten years without Leonardo DiCaprio? That might be a step too far, but the possibilities are making my head spin. Seeing as the subject will probably have to be a short, that leaves a few comedic things that Scorsese did early in his career such as What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? or It’s Not Just You, Murray! But, knowing Von Trier, he will probably pick Scorsese’s short The Big Shave, which consists of nothing more than a guy messing up terribly while giving himself a shave. Oh my God, that sounds amazing! [Variety]

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