Lars von Trier Kicks Ups a Cannes Controvery

19 May

CANNES, France — It wouldn’t be a film festival without a little controversy. On Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival, the director Lars von Trier caused a media firestorm when, at a news conference for his film “Melancholia,” he seemed to sympathize with Hitler.

At the end of the news conference, Mr. Von Trier, the Danish director of austere films like “Dancer in the Dark,” which won the Palme d’Or in 2000, was asked to expound on a recent interview in which he expressed interest in the Nazi aesthetic. “I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew,” Mr. Von Trier said; on his mother’s deathbed, she revealed that the man he thought was his father was not in fact his father.

“But it turned out I was not a Jew, but even if I’d been a Jew I would be kind of a second-rate Jew because there is kind of a hierarchy in the Jewish population,” he continued, as the stars of “Melancholia,” Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who sat beside him, began to look uncomfortable. The comments took the assembled international press by surprise, and quickly swept film blogs and Twitter. (…)


  • Video of the press conference is here.
  • First Festival Press Release (18.05.11).

The Festival de Cannes was disturbed about the statements made by Lars von Trier, (…) Therefore the Festival asked him to provide an explanation for his comments. The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation. He presents his apology. The direction of the Festival acknowledges this and is passing on Lars von Trier’s apology.

  • Second Festival Press Release on the subject (19.05.11):

The Board of Directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars Von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately.

Cannes-Rauswurf von Lars von Trier: Stinkbombe und Fehlurteil. Wegen dummer Nazi-Frotzeleien, für die er sich bereits entschuldigt hat, schließt das Filmfestival von Cannes den dänischen Regisseur Lars von Trier aus. Das allein ist dämlich genug – wenn nicht im gleichen Zug auch noch Mel Gibson rehabilitiert würde.

(…) Answering the usual, dim, blah-blah press conference questions (What were your influences? Are you happy with the movie? How was it working with Kirsten Dunstzzzzzzz?) the Danish filmmaker with a talent both for making movies and making mischief went off on weird, dumb tangents. He talked about porn (…), he mentioned Jews, and got tangled up in musings about Nazis. (…) Then again, he also said that maybe his new movie is crap.

He would have done better with a green light flashing over his head flashing JOKE! JOKE! Any journalist who has ever seen von Trier at one of his many Cannes press conferences over the years knows that the man is simultaneously shy and provocative, depressed and joking, off-the-cuff and off-the-wall. (…) Yet because von Trier got tangled in spewing nonsense  and couldn’t dig his way out, well, of course easy-route journalists got their headline: LVT says he may be a Nazi! (…)

  • Some Tweets:
montimerBen Mortimer

 *BREAKING NEWS* Lars Von Trier has just invaded Poland
karlalineRegine Herdeg

 Lars von Trier after John Galliano – is it hip now in culture scene to confess sympathy with Nazis?
magnofobMagne Pettersen
Haha! RT @robdelaney Guys. You may want to sit down. Are you sitting? OK; Lars Von Trier has said something controversial.
debora_olipinhoDébora Pinho
Boa! RT@antonioprata:John Galliano, Lars Von Trier, Bolsonaro e Danilo Gentilli se encontram num bar”.Parece o começo de uma boa piada,não?

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