Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Snaggletooth is the subject.

Some wonderful things happened last week, and I'm not just talking about the floods and tornadoes. No, I'm referring to the festivities over at da souf uh France, in the humble farming village of Cannes, where every year self-promoting celebrities roll in to gawk over themselves and eat cocaine through their nostrils. After all the pomp and circumstance, the winners were revealed. The Tree of Life, Terrence Malicks 40-years-in-the-making epic about trees that are alive (wut?) that he entrusted to Sean Penn took home the palme D'or, the equivalent to best picture, and Kirsten Dunst took home the best actress prize for Lars von Trier's Melancholia, the only movie at Cannes I actually want to see. Von Trier got into some trouble last week, and here's why:

In response to a question about his Germanic roots, Von Trier set off on a long and twisted answer that, if this were America, not Cannes, would have meant career suicide.
“For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew,” he began, “then I  met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”
Von Trier qualified that “I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier” before digging himself deeper. “In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass but…”
As Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, sitting on either side of Von Trier, stared at him agog, the director paused.
“Now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I’m a Nazi.”- HollywoodReporter

Von Trier later apologized for making these comments because despite the fact that he is a conceited Dane, he realizes that not everyone shares his sense of humor. However, because the French are French, Lars von Trier, one of the only true autuers in a festival established to honor autuers, was banned from Cannes for life. He's an idiot for saying these things, to be sure, and Cannes has the right to call him out on being an idiot, but I think banning him from the festival is a little extreme. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want Lars von Trier at my film festival just because I don't think I could handle all of that emo poon (I'd need Garrett Storm to back me up). It was a questionable move, but a move nonetheless. They screened Melancholia anyway, and Dunst took home the same award Charlotte Gainsbourg took home a few years back for Antichrist. On her way out of the ceremony, Dunst had this to say:

I'm all for standing by your opinion, but this is the equivalent of tattling. Why Dunst would say this about the director who gave her a hugely prestigious award is another Hollywood dogma. Yeah, he was an idiot, but you're making an equally idiotic comment by stepping on his grave. Jesus, has this been a shitty week. Von Trier banned from Cannes, a Sean Penn movie wins the Palme, Dunst is still alive, and have you heard about those floods and tornadoes? Just awful.