There are 10 simple rules for Dogme 95 (with 10 being the most dramatic):
- 1. Filming must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in. If a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found.
- 2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed, i.e., diegetic.
- 3. The camera must be a hand-held camera. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. The film must not take place where the camera is standing; filming must take place where the action takes place.
- 4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable (if there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).
- 5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
- 6. The film must not contain superficial action (murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
- 7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden (that is to say that the film takes place here and now).
- 8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
- 9. The final picture must be transferred to the Academy 35mm film, with an aspect ratio of 4:3, that is, not widescreen. Originally, the requirement was that the film had to be filmed on Academy 35mm film, but the rule was relaxed to allow low-budget productions.
- 10. The director must not be credited.
So, I wanted to take the rules of Dogme 95 and mock them because I felt that it was a mockery of the evolution of filmmaking. Sure, they called themselves purists but isn't art supposed to evolve with time and be an expression for the artist: in any way they want to convey their message? If Harmony Korine wants to write / direct movies that are depressing as hell, that's his choice and I do my part by not watching them because I know I'm not comfortable with his content. So making a genre of filmmaking (breaking rule #8 in itself) to get away from Michael Bay-esque filmmaking sounds a little childish to me. Like, when you were little and started your own club because the other kids wouldn't let you join their club. But of course, once Lars and Thomas realized that they, themselves, had started a "genre" of movie, they broke up in 2005.
I think films can still submit for Dogme 95 status after they've taken the Vow of Chastity but I'm not sure. I don't think I can stand behind that. And I'm not the only one.