Lars von Trier

(1956 – )

Director and screenwriter. Born 30/4 1956, Denmark, as Lars Trier. Studied at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Film and Media Studies (1976-79) and at the National Film School of Denmark (1979-82). His graduation film,"Images of Relief" (1982), evoked the attention of the critics who declared there was nothing comparable in Danish cinema since Dreyer. In a few years, Trier established himself as an internationally acclaimed auteur director and was later one of the co-founders of Dogme 95.

In 1992 Trier, together with producer Peter Aalbæk, established the production company Zentropa, which has since played a pivotal role i Scandinavian film production.

Trier debuted with the English-language feature "The Element of Crime" (1984) which, together with the low-budget experimental film "Epidemic" (1987) and the large-scale melodrama "Europa" (1991), compose the so-called Europa trilogy, a nightmarish vision of a doomed Europe in past, present and future.

Trier then released his television series "The Kingdom" (1994, second season in 1997). The highly entertaining mix of horror and comedy centring on the eccentric personalities at Copenhagen University Hospital was a great popular breakthrough for Trier. But the series also offered an experimental visual style with handheld cameras, grainy pictures and ostentatious violation of traditional narrative conventions that were the prelude to the concept of Dogme, presented in the manifesto Dogme 95.

Trier wrote the Dogme manifesto together with Thomas Vinterberg and presented it in Paris on 20 March 1995 as part of the celebration of cinema's 100-year anniversary. The manifesto was a protest against the time's superficial, technological and economically overloaded movie style, especially Hollywood's. Instead, they championed for a truer, simpler mode of production — as specified in the 'Vow of Chastity's Ten Commandments.'

Trier's next film was the intense melodrama "Breaking the Waves" (1996), which combined sexual debasement with religious devotion, told in a raw, handheld visual style. The film became a big international breakthrough. The story of female sacrifice continued in Trier's Dogme film "The Idiots" (1998), about a collective searching for their "inner idiot," and in the tragic musical and Palme d'Or winner "Dancer in the Dark" (2000). The three films make up the so-called Golden Heart trilogy.

In "The Five Obstructions" (2003), the premise was that Jørgen Leth was to make new versions of his classic short film "The Perfect Human" (1967) from specific rules and limitations that were devised by von Trier.

"Dogville" (2003) and "Manderlay" (2005) were a part of the incomplete USA trilogy. Comprising Trier's so-called Depression trilogy are "Antichrist" (2009) about woman's nature and nature's cruelty, "Melancholia" (2011) about the end of the world, and "Nymphomaniac" (2013 and 2014) about sexuality as a destructive obsession. 'The House That Jack Built' (2018) is his latest feature film.

Trier has received several awards at the Cannes Festival, including the Palme d'Or and the award for Best Actress (Björk) for "Dancer in the Dark" (2000). Also in Cannes' Official Competition were, among others, "Antichrist" (2009) and "Melancholia" (2011), again winning the award for best actress (Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kirsten Dunst, respectively).
Filmography Music
Title Year Function Category
The Missing Films 2025 Appearance DK/Documentary
Riget Exodus 2022 Direction, Screenplay
The House that Jack Built 2018 Direction, Screenplay, Idea DK/Feature
In Your Arms 2015 Creative producer DK/Feature
Nymphomaniac Director's Cut 2014 Direction, Screenplay DK/Feature
Nymphomaniac 2013 Direction, Screenplay DK/Feature
A caretaker's tale 2012 Executive producer DK/Feature
A Royal Affair 2012 Script consultant, Executive producer DK/Feature
Melancholia 2011 Direction, Script, Composer DK/Feature
Les amours perdues 2011 Consultant DK/Short fiction
The Erotic Human 2010 Creative producer DK/Feature
Antichrist 2009 Direction, Screenplay DK/Feature
Occupations 2007 Direction, Appearance, Script DK/Short fiction
De unge år 2007 Script, Voice DK/Feature
Forestillinger 2007 Concept TV series
Direktøren for det hele 2006 Direction, Script DK/Feature
Store danskere: Carl Th. Dreyer 2006 Appearance TV documentary
Manderlay 2005 Direction, Script, Camera operator DK/Feature
The Road to Manderlay 2005 Appearance TV documentary
Tilbageblik på Idioterne 2005 Appearance DK/Documentary
Letters to Dear Wendy 2005 Appearance TV documentary
Dear Wendy 2005 Script DK/Feature
Det danske dogmeri 2005 Appearance DK/Documentary
Clown 2005 Lars von Trier, Screenplay assistance TV series
Testamentet - Tage Skou-Hansen 2005 Concept DK/Documentary
South 2004 Co-producer Feature
Dogville 2003 Direction, Script, Camera operator DK/Feature
Dogville Confessions 2003 Appearance DK/Documentary
The five obstructions 2003 Direction, Script, Himself - Obstructor DK/Documentary
The Purified 2002 Appearance DK/Documentary
Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself 2002 Script consultant DK/Feature
D-Dag 2001 Direction TV film
Dancer in the Dark 2000 Direction, Script, Lyrics, Camera operator DK/Feature
von Triers 100 øjne 2000 Appearance DK/Documentary
The Exhibited 2000 Script, Sig selv DK/Documentary
Hotmen Coolboyz 2000 Co-executive producer DK/Feature
Italian for Beginners 2000 Associate producer DK/Feature
Morten Korch - Solskin kan man altid finde 1999 Appearance DK/Documentary
Store Klaus og lille Lars 1999 Appearance TV documentary
Pink Prison 1999 Co-executive producer DK/Feature
Constance 1999 Co-executive producer DK/Feature
In Doctor Von Trier's laboratory: Back to the magic of cinema 1998 Appearance TV documentary
The Idiots 1998 Direction, Script, Interviewer, Cinematography DK/Feature
The Humiliated 1998 Sig selv DK/Documentary
Riget II 1997 Direction, Script, Appearance DK/Feature
Dimension 1997 Direction, Script DK/Short fiction
Tranceformer 1997 Appearance Documentary
Breaking the Waves 1996 Direction, Screenplay DK/Feature
The Kingdom 1994 Direction, Script, Lars von Trier, Screenplay DK/Feature
The Teachers Room 1994 Direction TV series
I Lars von Triers rige - en mand og hans tv-serie 1994 Sig selv TV documentary
Zentropa 1991 Direction, Script, Korthåret jøde, Screenplay DK/Feature
Trier's Element 1991 Appearance TV documentary
The Cultural Focus 1991 Appearance TV documentary
A World of Difference 1989 Taxachauffør DK/Feature
Medea 1988 Direction, Script TV film
Epidemic 1987 Direction, Script, Editing, Appearance DK/Feature
Gateway to Europe - Copenhagen Airport 1985 Direction DK/Short fiction
I hvilket vand 1985 Appearance DK/Short fiction
The element of crime 1984 Direction, "Den evige jøde", Screenplay, Cinematographer: 2. unit DK/Feature
Sidste udkald 1984 Appearance DK/Short fiction
Images of a relief 1982 Direction, Script DK/Short fiction
The parallel corpse 1982 Production assistant DK/Feature
Nocturne 1981 Direction, Maskeret mand, Screenplay DK/Short fiction
Den sidste detalje 1981 Direction DK/Short fiction
The return of Captain Klyde 1980 Appearance DK/Feature
Menthe - la bienheureuse 1979 Direction, Script, Production, Chaufføren, Editing, Cinematographer DK/Short fiction
Orchidégartneren 1977 Direction, Victor Marse, Music, Editor, Screenplay, Cinematographer DK/Experimental
A flower 1971 Direction, Cinematography, Editing DK/Experimental
Hvorfor flygte fra det du ved du ikke kan flygte fra ? 1970 Direction DK/Experimental
Et skakspil 1969 Direction, Script, Cinematography, Editing DK/Short fiction
En røvsyg oplevelse 1969 Direction, Script, Cinematography, Editing DK/Short fiction
Hemmelig sommer 1968 Lars TV series
Nat, skat 1968 Direction, Script, Cinematography, Editing DK/Short fiction
Turen til Squashland 1967 Direction, Script, Cinematography, Editing DK/Short fiction
Psycho drama Holmes DK/Feature

As Lars Trier

Title Year Function Category
Solstik 1981 Assistant director DK/Short fiction
Psycho drama Assistant director DK/Feature
Music Year Film Function
Cvalda 2000 Dancer in the Dark Songwriter
I've seen it all 2000 Dancer in the Dark Songwriter
Smith & Wesson 2000 Dancer in the Dark Songwriter
In the musicals 2000 Dancer in the Dark Songwriter
107 steps 2000 Dancer in the Dark Songwriter
Next to last song 2000 Dancer in the Dark Songwriter
In the musicals 2000 Dancer in the Dark Songwriter
We all fall down 1987 Epidemic Songwriter
Lars von Trier in trade directory