Cannes never really starts until Danish director Lars Von Trier does something crazy. His most famous Cannes moment was probably a couple of years ago, when he defended his "Antichrist" and its extended genital mutilation scene by telling reporters, "I am the best film director in the world." This morning, though, Von Trier's new film, "Melancholia," with Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland, debuted. And here comes Von Trier.
The film is a little more accessible than most Von Trier films, which is to say it's simply about the end of all humanity. But the questions came fast and relentless afterward, and Von Trier made sure he had his official Von Trier Cannes moment.
One reporter asked Von Trier, a Dane, about his German roots. And off he went.
"For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew," he began, "then I met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn't so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler...I sympathize with him a bit."
Von Trier qualified that "I don't mean I'm in favor of World War II and I'm not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier" before digging himself deeper. "In fact I'm very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israeli is a pain the ass but..."
Yeah, you can't say that stuff, even if you are in France.
The best part of this is that "Melancholia" stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg (who should honestly be used to this by now) were sitting right next to him, looking for something large to hide behind, finding only Kiefer Sutherland.
But don't worry, Von Trier found a way to dig himself out of his hole. Mid-thought:
"Now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I'm a Nazi."
Well, that's one way out. So, whoever had "Nazi admission" in the Von Trier Cannes Press Conference Stunt Pool, collect your cash. We had "Endorse May 21 Armageddon Theories," ourselves.
Lars von Trier Admits to Being a Nazi, Understanding Hitler [The Hollywood Reporter]