An eccentric and intrepid testament to the pure joy of cinema, "The Five Obstructions" is what happens when one of the world's most audacious filmmakers -- Las von Trier, founder of the minimalist Dogme95 movement and director of "Breaking the Waves," "Dancer in the Dark" and "Dogville" -- decides to challenge his artistic mentor to a duel of intellect and imagination.

The semi-documentary begins with a simple conversation between von Trier and prolific Danish writer-director Jorgen Leth, in which the student presents his one-time teacher with a challenge too thought-provoking to refuse: Leth is to direct five remakes of his 1967 short "The Perfect Human," and for each version von Trier will impose creative restrictions to see if the filmmaker can rise to the occasion.

Leth, a kindly, long-faced intellectual in his 60s, enters into the agreement enthusiastically but almost immediately comes to realize he's made a deal with the devil. The childish, egotistical von Trier delights in tormenting him with what seem like increasingly impossible hurdles.

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