Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia plays tonight at the New York Film Festival. (I couldn’t get there in time but I’ll attend the after-event.) I’m fairly certain that 90% of the questioners speaking with Kirsten Dunst on the red carpet asked her about Von Trier’s Nazi comment that he made in Cannes. That has always been an oppressively lame thing to dwell on. It’s a shame that it won’t go away.
Less than an hour after Von Trier blurted out those idiotic remarks, I urged readers to forget it. Von Trier “has turned into a very dry and clumsy kidder,” I wrote. “Nothing is even half-sincere — absurdist put-on all the way.”
“Please, please don’t take this guy seriously,” I wrote later on. “Okay, go ahead…what do I care? But he lives to say stuff like this. He’s an artist, a madman…unbalanced. And he loves getting this kind of attention.
“Lars von Trier has, press conference-wise, often played the role of a provocateur, a kidder — he loves to poke and agitate and whip the press into a lather,” I wrote toward the end of the festival. “Nazi-winking, even in jest, in a huge no-no, of course, but we all know that Von Trier is a serious artist and a humanitarian who, despite his impishness, has time and again made films that see through to the sad soul of things.”