Lars Von Trier: A prankster, not a Nazi

After a silly press conference in Cannes to promote his new film, Director Lars Von Trier has been  officially  banned from the film festival for his absurdist remarks about Hitler.

Reading his “10  most controversial statements” I think it should be clear to most grown ups that Von Trier was in a goofy mood and mildly attempting to be  provocative.   There was no hint of genuine bigotry or antisemitism. He was just fucking around. He talked about making a hardcore porn film with Kirsten Durst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, blaming them for goading him into it.

I thought he was funny, not a funny as Bill Hicks but still funny. Unfortunately, now there is no room for humor about Hitler and that’s just sad. I loved hearing comedian Louis CK referring to Mrs. Palin as “Hitlering up the place.”

Listen, I’m no friend of Hitler, but neither is Lars Von Trier. It’s a shame that a genuinely original artist is being penalized for being offbeat and sarcsatic, while idiots in Cannes to promote the same old derivative crap are free to do so. I’d like to see his new film, as long as no one is castrated on-screen, like in Antichrist.

Read an enlightening interview with Von Trier here.   Read my other posts about him here and here.

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33 Responses to Lars Von Trier: A prankster, not a Nazi

  1. Heidi says:

    I’d have more sympathy for him if he weren’t Danish. I’ll let Babs explain better than I can!

  2. skye says:

    He was definitely being silly and not serious. However I guess in this day and age, that’s still a failure of judgement, unfortunately.

    My ridiculous husband once told the selector from the Toronto Film Festival to “with all due respect, go fuck yourself.” and surprisingly that didn’t go down as the fun, ironic thing that he thought it would…

  3. Erin says:

    The whole thing was so poorly executed. If you’re going to make a joke of that caliber, you’d better be fucking sure of what you’re going to say. What a turd.

  4. Dru says:

    I just think it was misguided, he doesn’t sound like a Galliano mk. II, only someone who failed at expressing himself verbally.

    Even Kirsten Dunst, who was sitting right there, gave him some rather spectacular stinkeye for it – he’s a little off his rocker, but friend of Hitler? Please.

  5. annemarie says:

    The French are very sensitive about this stuff though, a lot of shame and fear. They didn’t televise The Sorrow and the Pity until years after it was released.

  6. annemarie says:

    jaysus! look at Kirtsen Dunst during the interview!

  7. Kelly says:

    Agreed–he was mucking about. One thing is for sure…this put the festival in the news.

  8. Stacy says:

    ‘Hitlering up the place.’ I was going to say that’s hilarious but then I thought people might think I was a Nazi, even more so because I’m blond haired and blue eyed. *sigh*

  9. Winterbird says:

    You can’t say shit like that anymore! If I walked into work and verbalized to my boss that I thought she was fucking cunt and wanted to kill her, I would expect for secuirty to escort me out the door while my employement was being terminated and the police dispatched. If you feel the need to extoll the virtues of Adoloph Hitler to gain attention to your movie, then I have to assume you made a shitty movie. For every action there is a re-action and I hope this idiot gets run over.

  10. Sister Wolf says:

    winterbird – well, I did once call my supervisor a cunt and I was fired. A year later when I heard she got fired, I sent her an email saying: “It’s about time, you cunt!” But there were no death threats, because I am a pacifist.

  11. I’m sort of bored by his attempt at humour, is it witty no – is he being proactive – yes, is he being a git – yes & no. He reminds me how unfunny controversy is unless you are in on the joke. Kirsten Dunst did well not to slap him, I think she wanted to. I do agree he was being a goof unlike Galliano who was being a spiteful little shit. But I still think, yawn.

  12. But you calling your supervisor a cunt – made me laugh a lot.

  13. Sister Wolf says:

    Make do – Here’s the thing: I actually said to her: “If you’re going to be a cunt, then so am I.” I sometimes contend that I didn’t in fact call her a cunt but merely suggested…oh never mind.

  14. Andra says:

    Ah sister, how many times have words come out of our mouths without us actually thinking about them?
    I believe I am notorious for speaking without thinking – on a daily basis really.
    Just last week I mentioned to a woman who was sort of abusing her husband, how bossy she was.
    They both took offence. Go figure.
    Just trying to be helpful, but I guess they both know what they are.
    Now that lady would make a pretty good Nazi, much better than this poor fool.

  15. Alicia says:

    SW, that was the funniest story I’ve heard all day. Did she email you back?

  16. marie says:

    I’m with SW on this – he was being ‘irreverent,’ shall we say? I don’t fully understand people who say he should be run over for saying he can understand a little what Hitler was going through as a tormented person, ‘in his bunker.’ It’s folly to cast your enemies as larger than life, un-human creatures. It seems people can’t stand Von Trier identified Hitler as suffering. That’s just stupid.

  17. Liz says:

    Adore Lars Von Triers work!! This guy is my fucking hero!!!

  18. lulu says:

    I understand your point SW, and having read about LVT’s background, particularly discovering his real father was not the one who brought him up, or the deliberate way in which his mother undertook his conception [whether this is a fantasist contribution by LVT is another matter]. It does appear like an adrenaline or coke-fuelled rant in the heat of the moment.
    The difficulty I have with this, and subsequently with those people who scream ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘I’m sick to death of political correctness’ is that public statements like these have the potential to encourage those morons with true hate in their hearts to verbalise their prejudices.

  19. Cricket9 says:

    This is definitely not the same story as with Galliano, so no, he does not deserve to be “run over”. Anyone attempting sarcasm or irony in public these days should have a set of very big signs and show them to the said public when speaking: “SARCASM!” “IRONY!” “I’M ONLY JOKING!”
    I wonder how many people think that Stephen Colbert is serious.

  20. Cat says:

    I’m Danish and I have to say that the Danish humor is based on sarcasm, clumsy pronounciation and a bit of akwardness. All of these things is what Lars Von Trier is trying to do – of course, it’s not excuted properly so it’s not funny, but I can definately tell it was supposed to be.
    I am curious Heidi – why is it, that you have you feel less sympathetic because he is

  21. february says:

    I thought the funniest part of all this was kirsten dunst looking horrified while charlotte gainsbourg, whose father and husband are jewish, just sat there smiling. This is the height of ridiculousness.
    Very few racists actually run around these days proclaiming their racism. They just demand birth certificates of black presidents while declaring their total racial blindness.

  22. Heidi says:

    Cat, I live in Denmark, that’s why. I dislike intensely the Danish sense of humor, and much more so, the outraged reactions if anyone questions it. Let’s just say I am no fan of the Mohammad cartoons.

  23. me says:

    I agree with you Sister Wolf. And I think you should watch more, or all, of his films. They are the antithises of Nazism to me.

  24. Dude says:

    I agree with Heidi, with him being Danish, you can’t help but think that he actually meant what we he said. If he had been another nationality, I might have given him the benefit of doubt and thought it was a pathetic attempt at humour which went horribly wrong.

    The problem for the Danes is that when they in Denmark, they can come out with the most appalling racist crap and nobody bats an eyelid. Racism and racial stereotyping is a way of life in Denmark.It pervades every aspect of society, from education to the media.

    Danes assume that just because it is normal in Denmark, it must be okay outside of Denmark. The fact that so few Danes ever get public recognition means they rarely get taught lessons by the rest of the world.

    The rest of the world also remains unaware of the “debate” in Denmark because frankly, nobody cares about the country, and secondly the language means nobody knows what Danes are saying even when they listen.

    The biggest eye opener in Denmark is when you begin to understand the language, and you realise just how bigoted and xenophobic things are.

    So, in conclusion, his comments were just more of the same that you hear every day in Denmark from all aspects of society.

  25. stljblog says:

    If his sense of humor can only be understood in Denmark, he should not step out of his country. You can’t joke about ‘understanding’ Hitler, a guy responsible for the death of millions. That is not irreverence but assholery.

    I agree with that Lars Von Trier not really being Nazi, but he must face the consequences. He didn’t cross the line, he took a dump on it, burned it and then tried to douse it by pissing over it. He is a 55 year old man, used to plenty of public interactions, there is no excuse for his statements.

  26. TheShoeGirl says:

    Hmmm. Watching that video made me REALLY uncomfortable. You can tell he’s joking but his delivery is SO bad. ugh.

  27. Stella Mayfair says:

    i’m with you here, sister. lvt was just… err… being lvt. also, i love that you called her a cunt. hehehe. sometimes that’s the only thing to do.

  28. Sister Wolf says:

    CRicket9 – Hahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha! Thank you!

  29. Dexter VanDango says:

    Firstly, I’ve lived in Denmark these last 40 years and I don’t recognize anything particularly racist about Danes. There are more racists in Orange Country than in all of Scandinavia. As for their sense of humor Danes make jokes about everyone, including themselves and they’re rarely malicious. Why be proud of coming from a culture filled with cowardly taboos?

    Secondly, no one has wondered what Lars was thinking before he rambled on. Some times the smartest people make the dumbest jokes because they don’t realize other people aren’t following their train of thought or jumps in logic.

    Lars is a movie director, and therefore a kind of dictator. He’s been accused of using rather brutal head games to get better performances out of his actors. I think he was saying, “I can be a bit of a prick, too, so I know where Adolph was coming from..”

    For more on his character:

  30. Dru says:

    Honestly, if they’re trying to make a point about how they don’t support criminals or whatever, how come Cannes still rolls out the red carpet for Roman Polanski? Because banning von Trier basically makes the statement that some offensive clumsy comments are worse on the moral scale than the rape of a child.

  31. Alison says:

    These bans are to appease the moneymen, they have little to do with right or wrong. Hence why LVT gets banned yet Polanski who is the darling of too many people who should know better doesn’t. It sounded to me like a poor joke, lost in translation that basically went down like a lead balloon. A lot of people hear certain trigger words, their knees jerk up fast enough to knock their own teeth out and they shut their ears.

    I don’t see where the anti Denmark stuff is coming from! Is it really much different to the rest of Northern Europe? I see substantial differences in how racism and political correctness are perceived and interpreted between the US and Europe but not so much within Europe. Irreverent, sarcastic…sounds like here in the UK.

  32. Cat says:

    I can see why people would think that Danes are racists. I mean, a lot of our jokes (if not all) are based on stereotyping race, class and such. In reality, as it was said earlier, we don’t really care who you are, we are going to make fun of “you”.
    What really bugs me, though, is how nobody even thinks that we make fun of our selves. We have learned in Denmark, that nobody is “holy” or important enough to be untouchable- all subjects are open to make fun of. Which is also why we in Denmark actually do make fun of people like Hitler, Stalin and such.

    What I can’t make sense of, though, is why people would think that all Danes are racists. Isn’t racism about prejudices? Isn’t it a prejudice to say, that all Danish people are racists, based on some statements? I cannot argue, that one of the leading parties in our government (Dansk Folkeparti) aren’t racist (beacuse they are), but saying that because we have them in our society and then saying that all of us are racists, is complete and utter bollocks. That’s like saying all people in USA are like Sarah Palin (ha!).

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