For once I agree with Dimitris.
LVT has made a career out of being the outcast, maligned misanthropic bad boy. Here again, he is the outcast “maligned” misanthropic bad boy. Someone around this site said, it was like when he realized he had made a film that quite a few at Cannes seemed to like, he acted out to put himself on the outs again. I mean he has his fingers tattooed with the word ‘FUCK’. Do you think he cares about distribution being cancelled by ONE promoter? His films will get distributed and he will continue finding obscure European funding to create more films. Whether or not A-list American talent will continue to work with him might be a different story but then again, he could probably garner a fantastic performance out of a chimp.
Is he ridiculous in the way he cannot censor himself at times? Absolutely. Are many artists? Absolutely. I don’t agree with ANY of his statements, but I disagree heartily with the hypocrisy of banning him, his films and possibly distribution when known anti-Semite and abuser Mel Gibson is welcomed with open arms to promote The Beaver. Seriously??
The words “nazi” or “Htler” appear in someone’s speech and immediately fires erupt. Would anyone even be speaking about Lars von Trier if, instead of the third reich, he said the same things about Napoleon, Stalin, Pol Pot or Rwanda?
I don’t know- let’s try it:
“The only thing I can tell you is that I thought I was black for a long time and was very happy being black, then later on came Spike Lee, and suddenly I wasn’t so happy about being black. That was a joke. Sorry. But it turned out that I was not black. If I’d been black, then I would be a second-wave black, a kind of a new-wave black, but anyway, I really wanted to be black and then I found out that I was really KKK, because my family is Georgian. And that also gave me some pleasure. So, I, what can I say? I understand the KKK. I think they did some wrong things but I can see them sitting under a burning cross. I’m saying that I think I understand them. They were not what we could call good guys, but yeah, I understand much about them and I sympathize with them … But come on! I’m not for the Civil War. And I’m not against blacks. No, not even Spike Lee. I am very much for them. As much as the Black Congressional Caucus are a pain in the ass. How do I get out of this sentence? Okay, I am KKK. As for the art, I’m for Jefferson Davis. Jefferson Davis I liked. He was also one of God’s best children. He has a talent that … Okay, enough.”
That LVT is a funny guy! He was just joking! Sundance banned him? How ridiculous! Sarah Palin is right- the press is always trapping people and making them say these things against their will.
^ L O L ^
@Jerry — No, I don’t think that would have had the same effect, even though it’s equally offensive.
Post-Kyo: part of the point behind my first post was that I was NOT being edgy.
I thought it would be apparent that I was suggesting that there would be no such thing as
“edgy” speech if offended parties would not lend it such power by proscribing that speech.
That’s apart from living in a free society.
And when I say that LVT don’t need no fascist groove thang, I was hinting that a group-think,
hysterical over-reaction by those in authority was no doubt on the way.
And of course, the good folks at Cannes delivered, on time and under budget, so to speak.
In other words, Ii costs them nothing to hop on the high horse, and there’s no time like the present
to convey righteous indignation. Offended Party or Defender of Offended Party is an exalted status.
Almost everyone in this thread understands where assuming such a position leads:
Mr. or Mrs. persona non grata’s work very quickly achieves the same regard, hence the distribution hassle.
It’s an old scenario that observes no political or cultural boundaries.
There are still people who won’t watch a film starring Jane Fonda. Same goes for John Wayne and Spike Lee.
I personally know three cinema enthusiasts who will not even consider a viewing of Apocalypto.
Turns out there are all kinds of ways to be a fascist, I guess.
I––or anyone else, for that matter––shouldn’t have to say it, but he was clearly speaking in jest. Perhaps if he’d have gotten the wording down better, he would have received a few more laughs. And perhaps his intention was to illicit some minor controversy, but even so, how is that grounds for expulsion when it is largely what Von Trier has always been doing? Being the Cannes staple that he is, one would have expected the festival board to have grown accustomed to this by now. If he wanted his remarks taken seriously, would he follow them up with a joke about his plans for making a four-hour stag film with Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg?
-“but I disagree heartily with the hypocrisy of banning him, his films and possibly distribution when known anti-Semite and abuser Mel Gibson is welcomed with open arms to promote The Beaver.”
Mel Gibson didn’t make his statements at Cannes; that seems to be the real issue.
It’s not necessarily the content of what von Trier said that’s the problem, it’s the way he’s effectively hijacked the festival. As far as the press is now concerned, Cannes 2011 is no longer about the films in or out of competition, but about wacky old Lars von Trier and his antics.
With Antichrist, at least it was the film causing the controversy, which von Trier courted with his subsequent statements. Here the film was well received; the controversy has been deliberately engineered by von Trier independent of the actual work. Lots of attention for von Trier, an internationally acclaimed (celebrity) filmmaker guaranteed distribution; but not so good for the smaller films and lesser known filmmakers now overshadowed by von Trier’s narcissistic tabloid baiting.
If this was the Olympics Games it would be considered bad sportsmanship.
Of course, I’m sure the decision to “ban” von Trier from the festival is mostly motivated by protecting various (Hollywood?) business interests, but he’s still a complete embarrassment of a person.
I’m not sure where you’re from, Kate, but in the U.S. such a press conference would end any director’s career.
Maybe Von Trier should make a film in which he channels his depression through a fox puppet. Chaos reigns indeed.
“I’m not sure where you’re from, Kate, but in the U.S. such a press conference would end any director’s career.”
If that KKK argument you just made Jerry were to be an actual fact, it would surely ruin anyone’s career but fact is that any such Hitler remark in the U.S. would not only have ruined that career but would have ultimately stigmatized that person for life and death.
Hitler beats KKK? Unfortunately, that’s how world leaders, authorities and “common sense” have decided it to be so. There’s zero equality even when it comes to despicable crimes…
“but not so good for the smaller films and lesser known filmmakers now overshadowed by von Trier’s narcissistic tabloid baiting.”
That has always been the case as long as polls, lists and “official committees” control cinema.
….but it’s evident that the baker of the neighbourhood has not even heard of who Lars Von Trier is, so we shouldn’t really knock Antichrist as we’re doing so….nah, bollocks…
Ralch — good idea! I thought maybe he might take his revenge on Cannes with such a movie. Doubtless now that he is banned, however, it might make his latest movie that much more attractive to see just because of the scandal. Ooops.
“What is most disturbing is when Von Trier glibly says “Hitler did some bad things.” You think? That’s tantamount to saying Jeffrey Dahmer was slightly anti-social.”
it reminds me of this modern philosopher years ago that said there was no such thing as evil. i can’t remember his name, but he was essentially arguing that even the most disgusting historical crimes were not the product of evil minds or something along those lines. Although he didn’t use the example specifically, his reasoning was so dispassionate that he may as well have compared the Nazi atrocity to a rotten lingering fart trapped in a waterlogged elevator.
I just took a look at some of the video.
Maybe he’s a really good actor, but it seemed like he had no idea where he was going with what he was saying…at all. Did he just reach a rambling point in his brain where he would just say whatever comes out regardless of how much (if any) sense it made? Joke or not (and I can’t honestly tell from the video what he’s trying to do), he’s an idiot.
Adolf did bad, really bad things, LVT said bad things but has done good things. Did Adolf said good things? LVT has been expelled from Cannes.
Guess someone wanted his own bit of attention while LVT was sucking all the air out of the room.
Peter Fonda calls Obama ‘traitor’ at Cannes
CANNES, France (AFP) – Peter Fonda launched a four-letter attack on US President Barack Obama at the Cannes film festival on Wednesday, calling him a traitor over the handling of the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill.
The star of the 1969 road movie “Easy Rider” was in Cannes for the premiere of “The Big Fix” by Rebecca and Josh Tickell, the only feature documentary in the official selection at the Cannes film festival this year.
Fonda — a keen environmentalist and co-producer of the film which centres on the explosion of the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon, the ensuing spill and its consequences — accused Washington of trying to gag reporting on the issue.
“I sent an email to President Obama saying, ‘You are a f(expletive) traitor,’ using those words… ’You’re a traitor, you allowed foreign boots on our soil telling our military — in this case the coastguard — what they can and could not do, and telling us, the citizens of the United States, what we could or could not do’.”
Fonda, who said he sent the email last week, appears in “The Big Fix” trying to get on to Louisiana beaches to assess the impact of the biggest oil spill in US history, only to be turned away by BP clean-up personnel.
Speaking at a press event at the American Pavilion to promote the film, Fonda denounced BP as “a bunch of Brits — I thought we kicked them out a long time ago. They tried to get back in in 1812, but they didn’t make it.”
In the end, I guess Lars von Trier will find new audiences with this controversy. We may actually see a skinhead buying “Breaking the Waves” and “Dogville” DVDs. :)
Fonda needs to get back into the Easy Rider groove. Smoke a joint and chill out, bro.
Clearly, BP ought to be beholden to the son of Henry Fonda.
I guess von Trier has a right to say what he wants and the festival has a right to ban him. Pretty simple.
The problem is the politics of the whole thing. Maybe France is feeling the sting of the [alleged] disgraceful Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair and decided to put some pressure on the festival to do the right thing in the political arena?
As for Peter Fonda I guess he will now be persona non grata at the White House.
Oh noooo, he made jokes in bad taste and said that films and art can be evaluated in isolation of the artist’s political/social/cultural beliefs and history. If a film festival like Cannes can’t make this distinction then it should cease to exist. Otherwise it’s a pretty tacit acknowledge of bias towards like-minded filmmakers rather than evaluating a film’s quality in and of itself. I’m sure you could argue that Cannes and other film festivals already do this, but that isn’t their own stated goal: the statement issued earlier about promoting artistic freedom bla bla bla which was so astoundingly hypocritical.
It’s most likely politics, and bad publicity. Anyone watching that conference could feel the awkwardness and the tension and the downward spiral since Trier was unable to answer any question without trying to make a vulgar joke. But they were just jokes. The reports didn’t even bring up the gay jokes he made, or the interview he had before the conference about getting a swastika tattooed to his forehead, which was probably a sarcastic remark that everyone who wasn’t Von Trier knew would get them in trouble with the press.
This is possibly when being more worldly would’ve helped Von Trier get some perspective on how others might perceive his “danish humor”. he was retarded for saying it in any context, but he’d have to be even more retarded for saying it with a serious overtone as a lot of the knee jerk press has been proclaiming. either way, I’m sure a lot of closet internet racists are laughing their asses off at all the news and thinking he was being serious, as well. Let’s just say that morons think he’s serious.
It’s also funny how there’s some Three Stooges syndrome going on with this, as well. That it’s believed more naive to think he isn’t totally digging all this publicity for his film, where it’s probably more naive to think that he’s relishing the attention. Like putting the cigar in Curly’s eye isn’t going to hurt him, just like on the show.
I honestly hope the Jury has a mind to simply judge the movie without bias for the situation. And I hope Dunst wins, just to see if she’d accept it or not.
Lars von Trier - Mediocre films, great theater.
Guy must have studied the great P.T. Barnum
Hitler, Shmitler. Is the movie any good?
Oh c’mon Doinel, LVT can’t be mediocre since you like an epitome of mediocrity, Michael Moore ;)
Plus, the Michael Moore example is the best when it comes to a Cannes fluke (and a well-constructed “controversy”) . I dare everyone and anyone to name me any other Cannes “event” and / or winner like that of Moore’s that’s actually worse than his pseudo-leftist bullshit!
An opportunist scumbag
It seems some of you might be right to a degree:
Trying to explain his press conference comments, Von Trier admitted that, in part, he was playing his old role as Cannes’ agent provacateur.
“It sounds strange but I don’t like conflict. When I went into the press conference I felt like I should entertain people there,” he said. “Everyone comes to see what crazy thing Lars is going to say. And then I started a sentence which I couldn’t get out of. At the time I didn’t think much about it. Everyone seemed to understand and they was laughter. It’s only afterwards, when you read it: ‘I sympathize with Hitler’ that I thought ‘oh boy.’”-—quoted from The Hollywood Reporter
From an article on an interview von Trier after the ban:
“I’m very proud of being persona non grata. I’ve never been that before in my life, and that suits me extremely well.”
He added, “I’m known for provocations, but I like provocations when they have a purpose. And this had no purpose whatsoever. Because I’m not Mel Gibson. I’m definitely not Mel Gibson.”
Von Trier also explained that, as far as he knows, he is required to keep a certain distance away from festival property. “I should be carried around in a little cage with something in my mouth and shown to the press,”
The provocative filmmaker insisted repeatedly that his offensive comments were simply a joke gone awry, and that when he said he was a Nazi he was simply using “stupid” Danish slang in which Nazi is a synonym for German.
“I think the Holocaust is the worst crime in humanity that I can remember,” he said, pointing out that he had visited concentration camps.
As for the reaction to his comments: “I believe that it’s an especially delicate subject down here, because the French have a history of being extremely cruel to the Jews.”
Does this mean he’ll never be allowed back at Cannes again, or is there a chance at redemption? ;)
Both. The categories shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.
;however, it sounds like the press is manufacturing a controversy.