Lars von Trier Issues Last Statement Ever, No Longer Doing Interviews
by Alex Billington
October 5, 2011
Its been a rather turbulent year for Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier. His latest film, Melancholia, an exploration into stress and the apocalypse, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but after making odd statements about Nazis and Hitler during the press conference, von Trier was banned—persona non grata—from Cannes. While he's back with his own character poster for the release of Melancholia, a quote was issued by his publicist today confirming that, after an investigation into his comments, von Trier has "decided from this day forth to refrain from all public statements and interviews." Full statement below!
Today at 2 pm I was questioned by the Police of North Zealand in connection with charges made by the prosecution of Grasse in France from August 2011 regarding a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes. The investigation covers comments made during the press conference in Cannes in May 2011. Due to these serious accusations I have realized that I do not possess the skills to express myself unequivocally and I have therefore decided from this day forth to refrain from all public statements and interviews.
Lars von Trier
Avedøre, 5. October 2011
So he's going the way of the Wachowskis and Terrence Malick before him, but only because he was forced to since his comments made in Cannes have been upsetting many people all over the world. Believe it or not, it's actually illegal (in certain areas of the world) to sympathize with or condone the actions of Hitler and the Nazis during WWII ("law against justification of war crimes"), which is why he's now in trouble with the police. Von Trier at first apologized, then fumbled all that by supposedly retracting his apology, now he's in even bigger trouble with authorities that don't care about his filmography at all. It sounds like he's just not good at public speaking, sometimes saying too much or getting lost in translation, which is why he's taking this very drastic measure to "refrain from all public statements and interviews" from now on, unfortunately.
It might be a sad day for fans of Lars von Trier, the Danish auteur. Until further notice, we won't be seeing interviews or hearing any more from the director of films like Medea, Breaking the Waves, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark and Antichrist. Though I'm certain he'll continue working (he even has a nymphomaniac project coming up) and we'll still be able watch his films, he won't be making any public appearances anytime soon.