Incase you’ve been living under a metaphorical film rock.. make sure you have space for one more; because Lar Von Trier will probably be joining you there pretty soon.
Whilst the Cannes Film Festival does usually throw up its fair share of controversy; Lar Von Trier really decided to rock the boat this time.
His upcoming film under contention at Cannes is Melancholia, which we’ve been hearing positive things about, surprisingly more so than Terrance Malick’s Tree of Life.
Though in a press conference of the director and cast, LVT (apparently after being goaded by the press) came out some incredibly worrying remarks that he was a Nazi and sympathized with Hitler. No amount of Danish sarcasm could pass this one off as a joke.
The Cannes Festival board of directors, after a crisis meeting, decided that Lars Von Trier be banned from the film festival, declaring him “persona non grata“; the official statement released is below.
“The Festival de Cannes provides artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation. The Festival’s Board of Directors, which held an extraordinary meeting this Thursday 19 May 2011, profoundly regrets 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.
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.”
Lars Von Trier has subsequently apologised for his remarks, but the damage has already been done; though oddly enough, Melancholia is still in the running for Palme d’Or award. It will certainly make for an awkward acceptance speech.
Perhaps he should take a page out of Mel Gibson’s book, go off the map for a couple of years, then come back with a film about a figurative talking beaver?
Check out the cringeworthy interview below: