Lars von Trier‘s official job may be directing, but it seems his true calling lies in stirring up controversy. Earlier this year, the filmmaker once again sparked outrage at the Cannes press conference for Melancholia when he stated that he “sympathize[d] with [Hitler] a little bit,” even though he was “not against Jews.” Though von Trier issued an apology soon afterward, the damage was done and the director was banned from the festival.

His latest move isn’t likely to endear him to his critics, either. Von Trier is now saying that he’s “not sorry” about the Nazi remarks after all — or for that matter, about anything he’s said or done. Read on after the jump.

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There’s almost too much that’s good about Fantastic Fest: experiencing the Alamo Drafthouse for a week straight; the small, friendly, film fan atmosphere; the parties. Oh yeah, then there’s the insane films. Every year Fantastic Fest is filled with a ton of wild genre flicks that either you’ve never heard of yet or already have a lot of buzz surrounding them. As the 2011 festival is set to kick off this week, /Film will be on the ground telling you about the sickest, most disturbing and exciting films playing in Austin, Texas. Before that though, since there’s so much that’s good about Fantastic Fest, we’ve got three lists to get you as excited:

  • The Top 15 Films I’m Curious About – The true gems of Fantastic Fest, these are the wild cards we’re excited for from description alone.
  • The Top 10 Most Anticipated Films – These are films with familiar names or built in buzz from previous festivals.
  • The Top 5 Films of Fantastic Fest 2011 Already – This is a list of five films playing at the Festival we already know to be winners.

Read all of this after the jump and keep checking /Film from September 22-29 for all your coverage of Fantastic Fest 2011. Read More »

‘Melancholia’ US Trailer

There’s not a whole lot in this first official domestic trailer for Lars von Trier‘s Melancholia that we haven’t seen in previous trailers and clips. (Such as the great UK trailer we just saw a few days ago.) But what the hell, the film is among our most-anticipated of the year, and this trailer offers up a great HD look at the gorgeous and subtle cinematography from Manuel Alberto Claro.

So hit the jump and get one more look at the ways in which sisters played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg deal with the possibility of the impending end of life on Earth. Read More »

It’s been a big, loud year for Lars von Trier, thanks in part to his new film Melancholia, and more so to the Cannes press conference comments that saw the director banned from the festival. But getting beyond that controversy, there’s the fact that Melancholia is one of the best-reviewed films of the director’s career, and remains one of my most-anticipated films of the fall.

We’ve seen one trailer for the film, in which Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg play sisters with very different dispositions who are staring down the end of the world on the eve of Dunst’s character’s wedding. Now here’s the UK trailer, which nicely shows off the ensemble cast (which also includes Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier) and opens on a surprisingly upbeat note before settling into the anxious mode that you’d expect from a film about the end of the world. Read More »

If you’re a fan of genre film, you’ve had September 22-29 circled on your calendar for months. That’s when one of the most fun, depraved and intimate film festivals in the country once again invades Austin, Texas. It’s called Fantastic Fest and it features a huge blend of action, horror and sci-fi movies that most people haven’t heard of at the time, but we all hear about after. This year is no different. They announced the first wave of films in July and today we’ve got the second wave. Most of them are new to many of us, but then there are a few that we’ve covered in the past: Nacho Vigalondo‘s Extraterrestrial, Ti West‘s The Innkeepers, Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia and Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next just to name a few. After the jump, read the full breakdown of the second wave of films. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

The Cannes jury, headed by Robert De Niro, has selected the winners of this year’s competition slate, and the results are slightly surprising. In the early days of the fest two films quickly emerged as seeming front-runners for the top prize, Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Michel Hazanavicius‘ silent black and white film The Artist, but the Palme d’Or went instead to Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life.

The slate of winners was surprisingly tipped towards American films and talent, or films that played very specifically towards American tendencies in a way that isn’t quite typical for a Cannes awards slate. The full list of winners is after the break. Read More »

Cannes Bans Lars Von Trier

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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