The Boss Of It All
- Paul Dale
- 13 March 2008
Taking a break from vituperative deconstructions of US history, the ever playful Danish director, writer and producer Lars Von Trier brings us a comedy shot in Automavision, a process whereby the director chooses a fixed camera position and then allows a computer to choose whether and when to tilt, pan or zoom.
IT company boss Kristoffer (Jens Albinus) wants to sell up; the only problem is he has been lying to his workforce for years about his involvement in the firm. They all believe there is a bigger boss living in the US who takes all the unpopular decisions, which Kristoffer has to follow. To smooth out the process Kristoffer hires Ravn (Peter Gantzler), a bad, neurotic actor who applies what little talent he has to the semantics of acting theory while he attempts to play the visiting boss from America. When the once happy workforce meets the unconvincing impostor things do not go to plan for Kristoffer.
The Boss Of It All is a silly screwball comedy set in the dreary modern corporate world now so familiar to us from The Office. Closer to theatre than cinema (the Automavision process is at best unsurprising) Von Trier’s script is so full of literary and theatrical allusions, abstractions about the idea of career and perversions around the question of personal authorship that it brings to mind Bertrand Russell’s assertion that ‘One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.’