The Dogville acoustics: L. von Trier and Chekhov

Автор: Turysheva Olga N.

Журнал: Новый филологический вестник @slovorggu

Рубрика: Компаративистика

Статья в выпуске: 1 (52), 2020 года.

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The article gives a close analysis of the sound images in the script of “Dogville” (2003) by the modern Danish director Lars von Trier. It is proved that this script shares all the characteristics of a literary work. This is particularly marked by von Trier's stylistic inclination towards the classic theatrical drama, namely, the Chekhov Theater tradition. The author proposes that the memory of the Chekhov Theater and the “authority of his method” (L.V. Karasev) are amongst those that determine the parameters of the artistic world of Dogville. L. von Trier uses the techniques of the Russian playwright related to the sound design of the stage action. Thus, in the script of the film in question, the sound is delivered in the Chekhovian way: it has the same symbolic forms of manifestation as well as the same semantic functions with which the recipient is familiar via Chekhov's dramaturgy. The author of the article shows that the symbolic “acoustic” load refers not only to separate sounds in Chekhov's and von Trier's drama, but also to their correlations. Thus, in the finale of The Cherry Orchard, the sound of a bursting string and the sound of an ax form a single semantic field that produces a cathartic effect on the recipient. In “Dogville”, such a field is created by a combination of the following three sounds: the bell, the organ, and the piles being hammered down on the swamp. It is proved that this sonic triad deduces the presented story to the level of biblical generalizations concerned with guilt and retribution. Another subject of analysis is the sound beyond the above-mentioned acoustic system. This is the sound of the toll fading out, which in the intertextual perspective apparently correlates with Chekhov's sound of the bursting string. It is concluded that the system of sounds in the “Dogville” script is an important element in the philosophy of the film, related to the author's reflection on the pivotal postulates of Christian ethics.


Lars von trier, chekhov, sound, sound image, philosophy of guilt and retribution, dogville

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IDR: 149127417   |   DOI: 10.24411/2072-9316-2020-00022

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