Lars von Trier, a prolific yet controversial film director, has mastered the art of shocking his viewer.
Von Trier’s breakthrough film, The Element of Crime, arrived in 1984 to wide critical acclaim. The film would go on to receive twelve awards at seven international different festivals and pick up a nomination for the Palme d’Or. The film set up decades of shock factor films for Von Trier.
However, it was thirteen years prior to this moment, in 1971, that the director would lay the foundations for what would become a platform for Von Trier to exhibit his sometimes disturbing creativity.
Aged just 14, Trier (before he added the ‘Von’), wrote and filmed his first movie, Why Try to Escape from Which You Know You Can’t Escape from? Because You Are a Coward! The short film, made in Denmark, runs to around eight minutes and displays staggering ability for a director of such a young age. Filmed on a Super 8 Camera, the plot sees a child hit by a truck and left to suffer the injuries alone when another child runs away from the scene.
Somewhat of a psychological drama, the child is reborn through a possessed entity and the film introduces heavy rock, satanic chanting and some manic laughter.
Yeah, 14. He was 14 when he made this.