This Has Just Gotten Out Of Hand

Earlier this year, I covered a piece of movie news that I found to be pretty spectacularly stupid. Lars von Trier, the director of the extreme and controversial film Antichrist, made a bad “joke” – really, just a gaff – about Hitler at a Cannes press junket and, as a result, was banned from the festival entirely. Things have gotten even dumber. Way, way, dumber, in fact, as apparently the police have gotten involved. Here’s a statement that Von Trier issued yesterday, courtesy of FirstShowing:

Today at 2 pm I was questioned by the Police of North Zealand 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.

Lars von Trier
Avedøre, 5. October 2011

Pardon my language, but are you fucking kidding me? There was absolutely no reason for any kind of authorities to get involved in this stupid series of events. I don’t care that there’s a law against the justification of war crimes in France (Von Trier wasn’t justifying any war crimes when he made his mistake, in my opinion, anyway) – he’s already apologized for his flub and been banned from the film festival. Isn’t that enough? What more do people want? He said something off-colour and paid for it! Time to move on! I’m just completely flabberghasted that anyone would even bother calling the cops because of this! What an utter waste of time and resources! I don’t mean to go off the deep end here, but come on, world! Don’t we have bigger things to worry about than the poorly-thought-out statements of an already notoriously kooky director?

In case you’re wondering, I’m not even a very big fan of Von Trier’s films. Don’t get my wrong, the visual style of Antichrist was incredible, but his movies just aren’t for me. But y’know what I used to look forward to all the time? Hearing what zany thing he got up to next. The man tattooed the word “fuck” on his knuckles. What did people expect? For him to be totally sane? The Cannes Film Festival, the French authorities and whoever insisted that the police go a-knocking on Von Trier’s door all need to seriously reevaluate their priorities, because this isn’t worth anybody’s time. Plus, don’t they realize that all this controversy surrounding Von Trier is just feeding into his already controversial public persona?

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