Punk rockers like Sid Vicious have been wearing Nazi stuff for shock value since the 70s, but no one seems to remember that, at least if the degree of solemnity with which everyone wrote up the story about Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier declaring himself a Nazi at Cannes is any indication. The incident in question took place during the Melancholia press conference, which you can watch here, if you don’t mind sitting through a boring, 40-minute movie press conference. My stars, you don’t think the guy who films talking foxes, sex scenes between retarded people, and genital mutilation was being deliberately provocative, do you? Goodness, we should hold a tolerance rally. Here’s Ebert’s account of the event:
Von Trier’s detour began when he was asked about his use of German romantic music in his score. In the film “Melancholia,” Kirsten Dunst plays a bride who is supposed to be happy on her wedding day, but her depression makes her unravel and unable to keep up her happy face. While this is taking place, the planet Melancholia is hurtling toward the earth, rendering life pointless. As the character says, life is pointless and the earth is evil, we don’t need to grieve for it. Von Trier speculated that he had gone overboard in his use of Wagner, then said he had an interest in Nazi things.
He said he grew up thinking he was a Jew, and he was very happy to be a Jew. Then he discovered he was a Nazi, and that also gave him some pleasure. “Yes, I am a Nazi!”, he declared.
While his cast (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Udo Kier and John Hurt) looked on in horror, Kirsten Dunst tapped him on the shoulder and whispered to him to moderate his comments. He looked at her in confusion and said, “But this has a point, it will be okay.”
Then he proceeded to dig himself in deeper, saying that he understood Hitler, and that he could sympathize with his being down in that bunker toward the end. He continued, “Well that doesn’t mean I have anything against Jews, except Susanne Bier (Danish filmmaker, “In a Better World”).
“Well, Israel is a pain in the ass …
“Okay, I am a Nazi…
“Nazis tend to do things on a grander scale…
“Perhaps we can have a Final Solution for journalists….”
With that moderator Henri Behar called a halt to the conference because it was clear at that point that Von Trier just could not stop himself.
It is widely known that Von Trier suffers from bouts of depression, and “Melancholia” obviously reflected his state of mind. Ironically, before the declaration about Hitler and Nazism, Von Trier looked happier and more relaxed than he had at any of his previous press conferences at Cannes.
It seems that perhaps the director of Antichrist was just playing… (*sunglasses*) …Devil’s advocate. (*YEAAAAAAAH…*) (*fox bites off penis*).
Here’s Hollywood Reporter’s account, which makes Von Trier’s “revelation” sound a little less exciting:
In response to a question about his Germanic roots, Von Trier set off on a long and twisted answer that, if this were America, not Cannes, would have meant career suicide.
“For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew,” he began, “then I met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”
Von Trier qualified that “I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier” before digging himself deeper. “In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass but…”
As Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, sitting on either side of Von Trier, stared at him agog, the director paused.
“Now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I’m a Nazi.” [THR]
So yes, clearly the man hates Jews and should be banned from filmmaking. We should throw bricks through his shop windows to show that he is an enemy of the “fatherland”, by which I mean politically-correct filmmaking. It’s funny, when a guy with Tourette’s yells “CLIT PUSSY LICKING GINGER TITTY F*CKER!” everyone laughs, but if the same affliction causes him to casually drop an N-bomb or two, suddenly it’s not a problem with impulse control, but a window into a vast racist conspiracy. Grow up, you wieners. Though I do like the idea that Danish arthouse filmmakers have beefs as heated as Tupac and Biggie.