Early this morning, the Cannes Film Festival declared Lars Von Trier “persona non grata, with effect immediately,” effectively expelling him from this year’s festival. This was in response to Von Trier’s remarks about Nazis, despite the fact that said remarks were made jokingly, specifically intended to provoke, and apologized for after the fact.
It is unclear if the ban will extend to future festivals, or if it will affect the prize-winning chances of Von Trier’s well-received festival film, Melancholia. According to the The New York Times, the film will still be in contention but if it wins any awards, von Trier will not be there to accept them.
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You can say this for Lars Von Trier: he doesn’t believe in treading lightly. If today wasn’t so busy I’d spend a few hours digging up the director’s old comments from Cannes press conferences and correlating their level of pseudo-outrage to the quality of the film he’s promoting. His latest movie, Melancholia, premiered at Cannes today and the reviews are (perhaps predictably) mixed, with some of the most telling comments coming in the form of negative reviews from normally sympathetic fans. (There are also some significant raves.)
‘Sympathetic’ is the byword for LVT today, as the press conference for Melancholia featured the director baiting the press with statements about feeling that he understands Hitler and being a Nazi. Depending on how you look at it, press-baiting may not even have been his goal — it is more like the Nazi comments grew out of an attempt at a joke that, like a poor SNL routine, went on too long and wound down into an awkward sort of ‘oops’ conclusion. (A conclusion that proved perhaps appropriately apocalyptic, given the context of promoting a film about the end of the world.) The discourse about him today is dominated this current provocation, but we’ve also got early reviews of Melancholia and a few more upcoming career details. Read More »
There are many reasons I am glad that Lars Von Trier is out in the world, playing with film, and one is that he actually plays with film. Sometimes that playfulness is also quite perverse — OK, it is often perverse — but that’s still valuable. Dogme was an attempt to set boundaries in which films could be made with an artistic (and consequently a political) freedom from the tropes of Hollywood filmmaking. And The Five Obstructions, in which LVT challenged Jorgen Leth to remake his short The Perfect Human in five ways, with different ‘obstructions’ in his way each time, was another way to play with the creative boundaries of filmmaking.
Over a year ago, a meeting between Lars Von Trier and Martin Scorsese produced the rumor that LVT might remake Taxi Driver, possibly in a framework like The Five Obstructions. That was quickly denied, but that denial said that Lars Von Trier wasn’t going to remake Taxi Driver. What if Martin Scorsese would? Now there is confirmation from their respective production companies that both directors will participate in The Five Obstructions (yep, same title) and the unconfirmed rumor is that Martin Scorsese’s narrative material will indeed be Taxi Driver. Read More »
Lars Von Trier‘s new film, Melancholia, premieres soon at Cannes, and the debut of the film sets up a showdown between two sci-fi influenced dramas. On one side you’ve got Another Earth (trailer here) in which the emergence of a second Earth, which may or may not be an exact duplicate of our own world, leads to an exploration of second chances and the idea that our mistakes don’t have to be our sole defining trait.
And then there is Melancholia, in which Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg play sisters coming to terms with the impending end of the world. We’ve seen very little footage from Melancholia so far — just one short trailer — but a clip released this week shows Kirsten Dunst’s character proclaiming that life on Earth is evil, seemingly setting up her whole attitude throughout the film in a nutshell. That clip is after the break, along with an effects reel and a short international TV spot. Read More »
A new film from grand provocateur Lars Von Trier is always a big deal. And so we’re hanging on every little revelation about Melancholia, the apocalyptic drama featuring Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as sisters who are stressing their way through a wedding and life in general just as a previously unknown planet is found to be on a collision course with Earth.
We saw the trailer a couple weeks ago and now there is a poster that looks like the cover to an Italian library edition of the film’s novelization. (Or more properly, as many have pointed out, a wedding invitation.) Check out the big version after the break. Read More »
We just saw a trailer this week for Lars Von Trier‘s new film Melancholia, which will premiere in competition at Cannes this May. We still don’t know too much about the film — he famously proclaimed “no more happy endings!” when announcing it, and there is a basic sci-fi concept wrapped around a family drama and some sort of existential crisis for the main character, played by Kirsten Dunst.
Now Lars Trier has dropped a few tidbits about the film to Empire, and those who can’t wait for Magnolia to set a US release date for the film should hit the jump to enjoy the scant new bits of info. Read More »
The nearly-full slate for the competitive schedules at this year’s Cannes Film Festival has been announced, and while it isn’t packed with many surprises, there is some great stuff premiering in France this May. We basically knew that Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, Pedro Almodovar‘s The Skin That I Live In, Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia, and Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin would all be on the Croisette, so seeing those in the competition slate isn’t a surprise. But it’s nice to see Nicholas Winding Refn‘s Drive in there (FilmDistrict, give us a trailer, please!) along with Julia Leigh‘s Sleeping Beauty, Takashi Miike‘s remake of Harakiri (his 13 Assassins is also in some theaters, On Demand and on iTunes now, and is the best thing he’s made in a while) and even Le Havre by Aki Kaurismaki.
In the Un Certain Regard category — a slate that highlights “original and different” films, with Emir Kusturica heading the jury this year — you’ll find Gus Van Sant‘s Restless, Sundance fave Martha Marcy May Marlene by Sean Durkin, Erik Khoo‘s Tatsumi, and plenty more.
Out of competition premieres include Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Kung-Fu Panda 2. There could be more selections announced for that particular slate in the coming weeks. Read more info and get the full list of films as it stands now, after the break. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The best thing I could possibly find on the web this Friday morning is the new website for Lars Von Trier‘s upcoming film, Melancholia, complete with the first trailer for the movie. Though the story is (kind of) about the end of the world, the slightly not safe for work trailer (there is a little bit of nudity) is actually almost gentle in places.
The clip briefly charts the upcoming wedding of the younger of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst, looking effectively pensive and anxious. But seemingly coinciding with the ceremony is the emergence of a planet that was previously ‘hiding behind the sun’ and is now on a collision course with Earth. What follows appears to be very much the product of Lars Von Trier, but perhaps not quite the Von Trier of Antichrist. I thought he said ‘no more happy endings’? Read More »