May 23, 2017

Lars von Trier really isn’t sorry for those Nazi comments


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: I miss the days when we spent more time talking about the images Lars von Trier put up on the screen rather than the comments he makes in the post-screening press conference.

The “Melancholia” director put his foot in his mouth in Cannes earlier this year by stating he sympathized with Adolf Hitler and telling the press corps that he believed he was a Nazi. The mortified look on starlet Kirsten Dunst’s face as she sat beside her director said it all. The comments got Von Trier banned from Cannes … but he shows few signs of slowing down.

In an extensive interview with GQ, the Danish filmmaker clarifies his controversial statements with his best Popeye impersonation.

“I am what I am!,” Von Trier said. “I can’t be sorry for what I said — it’s against my nature, but that’s maybe where I’m really sick in my mind. You can’t be sorry about something that’s fundamentally you. Maybe I’m a freak in that sense.”

Possibly. Or maybe Von Trier, who stays off the radar in between films, just hopes to keep generating buzz for his somber drama, which played the Toronto International Film Festival recently and left with very little buzz.

As for the apology issued post-Nazi comments, Von Trier says he really didn’t mean it.

“To say I’m sorry for what I said is to say I’m sorry for what kind of a person I am, [and that] I’m sorry for my morals, and that would destroy me as a person,” he tells GQ.

“It’s not true. I’m not sorry. I am not sorry for what I said. I’m sorry that it didn’t come out more clearly. I’m not sorry that I made a joke. But I’m sorry that I didn’t make it clear that it was a joke.”

Last we heard, “Melancholia” will be available via Video-On-Demand on Oct. 7, with a theatrical release to follow on Nov. 11.

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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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