Danish director Lars von Trier unveils, um, er, dumb, at Cannes

Here’s an AP story about his press conference after the screening of his film.

Maybe he was stoned. Maybe he’s an idiot. Maybe both.

Some of the sillier things:

I had no idea Danes were so expressive!

No, no, no, man… you wait until you have peaked as a well-liked, commercially succesful star, and then you only go on your insane diatribe while visibly under the influence of enough drugs or booze to kill a lesser man, preferrably during or immediately after an arrest (with mugshot). Then you check into a fancy rehab clinic. Geesh, didn’t Mel teach you all anything?

The tragedy of all this is that von Trier has probably destroyed his career. Which means that Kirsten Dunst porn film will never get made.

On the plus side, perhaps her mainstream film career will be destroyed as collateral damage, and she will turn to porn full-time.

This AV Club article gives a more equitable look at von Trier’s gaffe than the AP article, which kind of de-contextualizes his statements about his German heritage. If you’re at all familiar with von Trier’s previous interviews, you know that he’s a very self-deprecating person, and his riffing about Nazism was basically an extension of that. He comes from the Kubrick school of directing, I think. That’s one of the reasons that he was jokingly referring to himself as a Nazi. And if you’ve seen any of his films, his comment about making a pornographic film with Dunst makes a lot more sense.

I feel bad for the guy. He made a crack about being a Nazi and it fell flat, and he just totally fell apart trying to recover from it. If you’ve seen the video of the interview, you’ll notice that some of the journalists sympathize with him, and try to get him back on the right track. Everybody involved, including von Trier, was pretty uncomfortable. But it was no worse than watching bad stand-up, though. Or watching somebody walk into a glass door, or whatever. There was certainly no venom in anything he said.

Kirsten Dunst, eh?

I believe in you Lars. Make it happen.

Agreed. Many of his interviews in Denmark has this sort of quality. The Danish press is more amused with international reactions to the Trier interview than with Trier’s statements. He’s extremely insecure, self-deprecating (and weird), and the tirade at Cannes probably has more to do with this combined with his English speaking skills and rather odd sense of humour than with him being a Nazi of any kind.
Storm in a teapot, if you ask me.

And Danish media now reports that Trier has been kicked out of the competition in Cannes! Crazy.

Technically, he has been declared Persona Non Grata, which is much cooler.

Trier is a sad, strange little man. To paraphrase Seinfeld, he doesn’t offend me as a Jew, he offends me as a cinephile.

Moved MPSIMS --> Cafe Society.

Why would anyone take his comments literally or seriously? This is Lars von Trier we’re talking about.

I’m just sad that Melancholia looks so bland, since Antichrist and Breaking the Waves are a couple of all-time masterpieces.

Breaking the Waves is the product of a seriously deranged mind.

That is exceedingly cool. I’ve always wanted to be declared Persona Non Grata somewhere. Speaking of - perhaps this is more an ATMB comment, but could the Board officially adopt a practice of PNG-ing people instead of simply banning them? The effect would be identical - but, as Alessan pointed out, much cooler.

That AV Club article has this zinger:

And seems like It’s a Wonderful Life compared to Antichrist.

care to say more? I’m not really one for amateur psychologizing on the basis of the art people make, and if this is true, then it’s a “product of a seriously deranged mind” that seems to have hornswoggled any number of talented critics and dedicated viewers into thinking it’s something more.

I think Von Trier was just trying to make a joke. I probably would have found it amusing if I were in the audience. The “Israel is a pain in the ass” thing strikes me as a pointless swipe at Israel because apparently that’s the trendy thing to do nowadays, but aside from that, I see no reason to get upset about this…there is a certain segment of modern American Judaism, well represented by the ADL, which seems to exist only to get offended about stuff. I think these people are fools…they make the Jews look like whiners. As if there aren’t already enough stereotypes about that shit, we don’t need real-life Jewish groups doing it too.

A lot of people simply don’t understand how seriously Hitler and Nazism is still taken. Hell, my wife, to this day, still has to swear that she was never a member of the German Nazi Party when she renews her US visa. Really, that’s no joke.

Al Franken made a joke about how American immigration policy used to (and maybe still does) make people swear that they have never been a member of the Communist Party and that they had never been a member of the Nazi Party in 1945 or earlier.

Franken said he could see the sense of this policy because, say what you will about them, anyone who joined the Nazi Party in 1946 is no fair-weather friend.