Anyone who likes their cinema experience to be slightly more challenging than the conventional would have heard of Danish film maker, Lars von Trier. Famous films include Dancer in the Dark, Breaking the Waves, and Antichrist. But instead of challenging the crowd with his latest film, Melancholia, starring Kirsten Dunst, it was his attempt at satire during a press conference that has now earned him the title of “persona non grata” at this prestigious festival.
And what did he say to upset everyone to such a degree where the festival had to issue this statement:
The Cannes board of directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars von Trier a persona non grata at the festival. We provide artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation. But we profoundly regret that this forum has been used by Lars von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the festival. Melancholia remains in competition but that if it wins anything at Sunday’s closing ceremony, von Trier won’t be there to receive the prize.
Have a read and decide for yourself:
What can I say? I understand Hitler, but I think he did some wrong things, yes, absolutely. But I can see him sitting in his bunker in the end. He’s not what you would call a good guy, but I understand much about him, and I sympathize with him a little bit. But come on, I’m not for the Second World War, and I’m not against Jews. I am very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass.
Kirsten Dunst, who was sitting next to him at the press conference, leaned over and whispered this in his ear at the time:
Oh my God, this is terrible.
Later on, she had this to say to reporters:
He likes to run his mouth. I think he dug himself in a deep hole today.
And Lars? What does he have to say about all the excitement?
I was only joking when making these comments. I don’t have so much else to say, so I kind of have to improvise a little and just to let the feelings I have kind of come out into words. This whole Nazi thing, I don’t know where it came from, but you spend a lot of time in Germany, you sometimes want to feel a little free and just talk about this shit, you know?
I’ll leave you with the trailer for Melancholia.
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