Up untilnow, it seemed that the big story out of Cannes was the premiere of thelong-awaited Terrence Malick movie Tree ofLife , which has had bloggers andcritics in a tizzy . But yesterday, Danish director Lars von Trier managedto wrest away the spotlight in rather spectacular fashion. At a morning pressconference for his "psychological disaster film" Melancholia ,von Trier answered a question about his German roots with a rambling responseabout how he is "really a Nazi" and "understand[s] Hitler." (He also callsIsrael "a pain in the ass.") The Telegraph has clipped the relevant portion of the conference:
[via the New York Times ]
Von Trier issuedan apology later that day, but Cannes organizers decided it wasn't enoughand have today declared him a " personanon grata at the Festival de Cannes , with effect immediately." Melancholia remains in competition, butif it wins, a spokeswoman told the AP that von Trier"won't be there to receive the prize."
The video istransfixing in a way that transcripts of the event just can't capture
Lars von Trier isn't exactly thekind of person you want undergoing media training commentsto the AP are anything to go by:provocation is his stock intrade but the sheer misguidedness of this loopy riff baffles me, especially becauseit doesn't sound like von Trier has very strong feelings on the topic of Nazis,if his
I don't have so much to say, so I kindof have to improvise a little and just to let the feelings I have kind of comeout into words ... This whole Nazi thing, I don't know where it came from, butyou spend a lot of time in Germany, you sometimes want to feel a little free andjust talk about this (expletive), you know?