> Volume 6 > Number 23


Kristian Levring

Janet McTeer
Olympia Dukakis
Tony Maudsley
JJ Field
Brenda Fricker

Release: 25 Jun. 03

The Intended


So far, the inconsistencies of the Dogme founders after their dabbling with the manifesto have been astounding. While the best, Thomas Vinterberg, went onto make a completely incomprehensible think piece (It’s All About Love), and the worst, Lars von Trier, has delivered the best Danish films in decades (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, and The Five Obstructions, the mediocre ones, Søren Kragh-Jacobson and Kristian Levring, have evidently been waiting in the wings, wondering if they should go full-blown theatrical (like Vinterberg) or hint at the purity of Dogme (like von Trier).

With The Intended, Levring finds a middle ground: neither theatrical nor pure, its production is just rote, lethargically going from one scene to another with paltry effect. His Dogme film, The King Is Alive, wasn’t terribly different, at least in storytelling. Again, he’s dealing with characters stranded, the unknown settings slowly eating away at their souls. But what he hasn’t evidently considered since, other than how to make Dogme’s shoddy production design look attractive, is what an uninspired story this makes. The ideas behind Heart of Darkness seem to be dangling in front of him but he doesn’t have the energy to fight for it. One of the most compelling aspects of Apocalypse Now, especially after seeing Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, is the true struggle Francis Ford Coppola endured for the film. His career was never the same, but he at least got a masterpiece out of it. Levring, perhaps compelled to have some semblance of respectability in his future endeavors, seem more than willing to forever remain in mediocrity

©2004, David Perry,, 4 June 2004