The Seven Most Exciting Hours of Mr. Trier’s Life in Twenty-Four Chapters is an adventure novel based on a true story told in a televised interview by the Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, describing seven hours in the life of Tibor Klaus Trier—Lars von Trier’s father—from the moment that his wife goes into labor early in the morning until Lars is born.
While the book reads as a humorous and exciting page-turner, the underlying subject is the meaning of cinematic language, as Keren Cytter writes about the influence of film on our way of seeing the world. Compared to many art forms, film is not such an old medium. And yet, cinema has highly influenced people’s way of seeing the world. Cytter turns this around; she regards cinematic language from the artistic perspective, as if it were an object that can be studied from many angles.
For example, in the repetition of her descriptions of a space, each time from a different camera angle. A highly conceptual aspect of the work is Cytter’s use of Lars von Trier’s oeuvre within the story of his own birth, such as the hospital with haunted ghost children: a hospital that recalls von Trier’s television series The Kingdom. In this manner, the question: “Is our work our own, or is it being owned by the impressions that we had during our lives?” is handed to the viewer on a very humorous plate: Lars von Trier wasn’t just influenced by impressions from his childhood, but also from the time before.
Especially towards the end, the sensation arises that everything being described, whether it is ghost children or a soap opera-like romance between a nurse and a doctor, could have really happened, as through various dream sequences and distortions of reality, the entire ghost-children’s world turns back to normal in a very casual way. Tibor Klaus von Trier is the only witness of it all, but wakes up in the end with an erased memory, and all is fine.