Mike Fleming

I flew home today from Cannes and am playing catch-up to Lars Von Trier’s Nazi and pro-Hitler outburst at a press conference for his film Melancholia, which was capably chronicled by my colleague Pete Hammond. I’m told that a post-premiere party for Melancholia was canceled, which is probably appropriate because the provocateur left nobody in a mood for revelry and put a blot on what has been a fine festival so far. After watching yesterday’s press conference with Jodie Foster, and the way she thoughtfully answered every question both in English and in French about her film The Beaver, I find it shocking that an experienced director like von Trier could be so graceless in his opportunity to introduce his film on a worldwide platform. It’s inexcusable to be making flip comments about being a sympathizer of the Nazis and Hitler, seemingly oblivious to the memory of genocide that is the first thing most rational, decent people think of when those words are brought up. If there was a festival prize for Biggest Douchebag, von Trier wins, hands down. Despite a tepid apology issued through the festival that he “let himself be egged on by a provocation” (what the hell does that mean, anyway?), von Trier deserves all the lumps that will be coming to him.

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