What is it with these guys? We had the French designer who got in haute water for Nazi-lovin' remarks, and now this. Danish film director Lars von Trier, famous for unhappy, depressing movies with real sex, once said that a movie should be “like a stone in your shoe.” But that makes it so much harder to goose-step! Let’s go to the Canes press conference:
As the conference drew to a close, the director, who won the Palme d'Or in Cannes for best picture with "Dancer in the Dark," was asked to expand on comments he made in a recent interview regarding his interest in the Nazi aesthetic.
"I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew," said Von Trier, who, according to biographies, believed his father to be Jewish until his mother revealed to him on her death bed that his father was actually German. But it turned out I was not a Jew but even if I'd been a Jew I would be kind of a second rate Jew because there is kind of a hierarchy in the Jewish population.
"But anyway, I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out I was really a Nazi, you know, because my family was German, Hartmann, which also gave me some pleasure.”
Gosh, Lars, why? The rich musical tradition, the unyielding philosophical precepts of its 19th century thinkers, the brilliance of the German Renaissance painting, so different from its Latin counterparts? The broad deep forests, the snow cap’d peaks? No, of course not.
”I understand Hitler. I think he did some wrong things, yes absolutely, but I can see him sitting in his bunker in the end.
"I think I understand the man. He's not what you would call a good guy, but I understand much about him and I sympathize with him a little bit. But come on, I'm not for the Second World War, and I'm not against Jews.
"I am of course very much for Jews. No, not too much because Israel is a pain in the ass. But still, how can I get out of this sentence?"
Oh, that’s easy. Shut up. Which he decided not to do. Asked if he thought this piece might get a wide audience, he said:
"Yeah, that's what we Nazis ... we have a tendency to try to do things on a greater scale. Yeah, may be you could persuade me." As a passing shot, he referred to the press conference as the "final solution with journalists."
Oh, you caution! The full interview story is here, as is a picture of Lars showing he has a naughty word written, or tattooed, on his fingers. Just checked his wikipedia bio to get a full filmography, and noted he was raised by atheist communist nudist parents. Which had no effect on him whatsoever, it appears.