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Von Trier, Scorsese confirm plans to work on another Obstructions

In a long rumoured collaboration, it has now been officially confirmed that Martin Scorsese is to join forces with Danish maverick Lars Von Trier on a follow-up to The Five Obstructions (2003), Von Trier’s  collaboration with Jorgen Leth.

The co-production between Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions and von Trier’s Zentropa Real ApS, is looking to start production next year.  

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In The Five Obstructions, von Trier challenged Leth to remake his short film The Perfect Human (1967) five times, while providing him with a different set of “obstructions” for each new version. The process forced Leth to rethink the history and characters in his original film.

Von Trier will apply this same method to Scorsese with a new set of obstructions.

Additional details will not be disclosed. However, it is believed that Taxi Driver will be the film that von Trier asks Scorsese to revisit.

Interviewed by Screen earlier this year, von Trier said: “The idea behind this obstructions thing is that you give each other tasks which will move you into an area where you have been reluctant to go yourself. Under protest, you do that and then you enlarge your repertoire.”

Commenting on his  initial meeting with Scorsese in Berlin, the Dane said he was surprised by Scorsese’s courtesy. “He turned out to be a gentleman.” What was he expecting? “I don’t know. Maybe you could see him a little bit as a gangster! But he was certainly not - not on the surface anyway.”

The project will be produced by Emma Tillinger Koskoff for Sikelia Productions and Carsten Holst and Louise Vesth on behalf of Zentropa Real ApS.

Scorsese’s next feature film, Silence, is set to begin production in early 2012 and his upcoming film Hugo Cabret will be released inNovember 2011. Von Trier’s next film Melancholia will be premiering May 18 in Competition.

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