Friday, 29 July 2011

Oh Lars!

Lars von Trier has always prided himself with getting under people's skin; from showcasing gratuitous nudity to utterly ridiculous statements about his mental health and phobias, it's fair to say von Trier just likes a laugh, and all the while people moan about it, he's going to continue playing tricks.

 For those who did not hear about his recent stunt at Cannes - during a press conference for 'Melancholia' he was asked about his family heritage in Germany. During this he claimed how he was by default a "Nazi" and felt a slight "sympathy" towards Adolf Hitler because he "understands him". Of course these remarks classified him as a 'persona non grata' and he was forced to leave the festival, even though his picture hadn't even screened yet. He also wasn't able to see Kirsten Dunst collect her Best Actress award for her role in the movie. You can watch the 'dodgy' press conference clip below:

 The stupidity of this whole event is that's it's so painstakingly obvious he is just trying to ruffle some feathers - he doesn't mean anything literally, so in a bizarre way, I actually admire his integrity. Lars has always wanted to keep the industry on it's toes, and fair play to the man. When he and the other Danish filmmakers formed the 'Dogme '95' act, in which films were made under a series of strict rules,they still exploited everything they could use and get away with. It's the same story with 'Antichrist' (2009), he wanted to get a reaction out of the audience during the gruesome and psycho-sexual scenes - the goal is to bother people, and I for one think that's pretty darn brilliant. Just look at this poster for the film; it contains no images, just text.

 I bet he was jumping with joy when this came out, and not because critics actually said they liked it. Oh and no, it's certainly not "The most shocking film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival" - what a stupid thing to say.

 But anyway, the point of all this is that Lars von Trier is a great asset to the industry and although he has made a few duds in his time, his relentless urge to make a scene and spark controversy is a unique and rather impressive way of getting your pictures promoted. Nazism has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with 'Melancholia' but I bet it's does better at the box-office because of it. So well done Cannes for doing him a favour.

Oh, and this is quite possibly the coolest poster I've seen for a while...

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