The Buzz

Von Trier attempts cure for foot-in-mouth syndrome

Categories: Movies

Lars von TrierDanish film director Lars von Trier, seen here in Mougins, France in May 2011, says he will no longer make public statements or give interviews. (Francois Mori/Associated Press)

Denmark's enfant terrible filmmaker Lars von Trier has figured out one way to alleviate his perennial bouts of foot-in-mouth syndrome: stop talking to the press.

The ever-quirky von Trier has made what he claims is his final (ever!) public statement, prompted by police questioning over his now infamous comments at the Cannes Film Festival about Adolph Hitler and Jews.

In May, the director of the Palme d'Or-winning Dancer in the Dark and more challenging titles such as Antichrist, Dogville and, most recently, Melancholia, got himself booted from Cannes -- where his films have long been warmly received -- for bizarre, rambling comments made during a press conference. After mentioning his German heritage, von Trier said his background made him sympathize with Hitler a little bit. (Incidentally, he also made a few squirmy jokes about porn films.)

After a public mea culpa, the famed provocateur shocked the world (again!) by unapologizing for his Cannes comments, which he emphasized were made in jest.

Finally, unable to douse the flames, von Trier issued the following statement on Wednesday.

"Today at 2 p.m., I was questioned by the Police of North Zealand [in Denmark] 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."

The director's colleague, Zentropa production firm co-founder Peter Aalbaek Jensen, confirmed that von Trier has decided to "muzzle himself."

"He is a colourful and entertaining person and he has never had the intention or wish to offend anyone," Jensen told The Associated Press. "He has now spent five months explaining himself."

Given his propensity for stream-of-consciousness observations and cracking jokes few seem to understand, this latest decision will undoubtedly prove interesting, especially once his next film comes around.

Comments are closed.