Jump to content
Andrew Reid

Lars von Trier returns to Cannes and people seem to have taken personal offence to his fictional serial killer

Recommended Posts

Articles about creative processes are boring. Because they usually have absolutely nothing to do with creativity at all.

If you really want to know how an artist's mind works, look no further than the highly controversial Cannes visits of Lars Von Trier.

Read the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

The left have become a bunch of whiny, pearl-clutching Victorians. They've gone completely off the deep end with the offense culture and all the divisive race-baiting and reverse sexism/racism. Hillary was the last time I vote with them. Glad we still have a few brave people like Kanye and von Trier who truly don't give a fuck, but they are few and far between. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“A filmmaker is always provoking some reaction from an audience.”

I totally agree Andrew. But the means a filmmaker uses to achieve this can define the quality of his art (at least from my point of view, anyone can disagree). The easiest way to challenge your audience is by serving them scenes with genitals being cut with a pair of scissors or crashed by stones and then calling them puritans based on their totally justified reactions. Is it a bad thing that most people can’t stand sadism & graphic violence in cinema? This doesn’t have to do with a pair of tits being “shown” but with a pair of tits being “cut off” (plus children being shot). And you are calling this an antidote? I don’t get this but who knows, maybe i am a puritan too. But in any case i consider my self as lucky for not enjoying his films.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the majority of his work is even meant to be enjoyed. However in all of the Von Trier films I've seen, I've felt an intelligence and deep layered meaning was there behind all of the graphic scenes. If certain things are to be censored like sadism, then it means certain stories can't be told and I don't agree with that. Of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion on a film and whether they enjoy it or not is up to them. It's hardly going to be a date movie is it? But to get hysterical about it and walk out of the cinema like those 100 at Cannes is more likely a result of these people not really seeing beyond the surface.

As for left vs right politics, let's try not to get into that here, because it isn't really what the article is about. The left has gone more extreme, has gone hysterically politically correct, but the right has gone more extreme as well and both sides at their most extreme are as batshit crazy as each other. I don't support any form of political extremism either left or right. What I do support is the freedom of the filmmaker to make a film of his choosing without censorship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree.  I don’t personally care for Von Trier’s films, but that’s about as irrelevant as it should be.  There is too much influence portrayed as a universal acceptance in cinema simply because of the bandwagon.  I saw Black Panther because I felt like I was the only person in the world who wasn’t hash tagging how amazing it was....  Bullshit.  I felt like I was “supposed” to like it because if I didn’t, that was racist.  I just didn’t.  The fact that it’s a problem these days if you don’t, and not prioritizing the acceptable cool kids club agenda - is more offensive to me than anything Lars will ever do and I guarantee only about 10% of the 100 critics who decided to walk out of the movie were just not interested.  The rest probably left because if they didn’t, what does that say about “them”.  Get a damn load of Gasper Noe..  lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Andrew Reid "It’s 2018, we’re officially in the space age, but the biggest disappointment for me is that the world seems to be regressing into a puritan Victorian culture where sex scenes in most films occur clothed..."

Is this a joke?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"probably because they didn’t like the fact the fictional psychopath serial killer protagonist wasn’t extolling feminist virtues."

why so salty?

 

If you are in a movie, you are IN.. of course you know it´s fictional, but it doesn´t matter that much... I don´t know why I would want to see breasts cut off or lets say sadistic gore in general... I´m not getting anything but disgust and hate. I completly understand why someone would walk out of the theatre. I know what you mean with "personal offence" though - yes, maybe this film is a big fuck you in this direction - and rightly so.. but it is also a little bit too easy to get away like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like some of Von Trier's films, I've not seen all of his movies, but there is something to be said about a man who keeps making exactly what he likes regardless of the criticism he's faced over the years. Cannes is simply not the audience for him. I'm working there this year, filming on the red carpets, junkets etc. There's not many fantastic films here compared to previous years, and the ones that stand out tend to be very 'leftist'. A few that spring to mind are 'Girl', about a transgender ballet dancer, 'El Angel' about a homoerotic gangster (based on true events) and 'Sauvage' about a rent boy looking for love. - None of these are competing for the Palms, but 'Girl' in particular is expected to run as Belgium's foreign language Oscar next season. On top of that, 'Total Recall's Paul Verhouven - also of 'Black Book' and 'Elle' announced his next movie, a love story about lesbian nuns called 'Blessed Virgin', which he assured buyers will not be pornographic, but artistic. Oh and then there was 'Star Wars' of course.

With this brief list, and of course there are films I've missed out, but where does a hyper violent art movie fit in? Von Trier has never really been loved at Cannes and has previously been banned by the festival after his bazaar nazi comments in the press conference for 'Melancholia'. They're simply not his audience, but as long as they keep accepting his films, he'll keep playing them there. There's no such thing as bad press, and for a Von Trier it almost seems like negative reviews from the press make his real audience want to watch them more. 

If the general public and movie press don't like a film, then they simply don't understand it right? Luckily, those who can see the subtleties in the art of genital mutilation will stand by their loved Danish director, regardless if they actually like the film or not.

Lars has made a name for himself and in many ways, that name is more important than the films he makes. He could piss in a bucket and people would watch it. And honestly, if its filmed like the first scene of 'Antichrist', I'd probably enjoy it too.

Sorry for the rant, but to me Cannes rejecting a Von Trier movie is just not news. If they applauded him after the screening, then I would have been surprised.

-------

TLDR: just a whole load of BS really

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

25 minutes ago, Huuow said:

"If they applauded him after the screening, then I would have been surprised."

 

didn´t he get standing ovations after?

Right, but the article isn't about the ovation is what I'm saying. The article is about people taking offence, which to me isn't the news. I could have told you that on Monday. 

Maybe I could have worded it better, my bad.

Edit: just to add to my point about Von Trier's name being bigger than his movies. Remember Tarantino turned up to Cannes with 'Reservoir Dogs', where a man's ear is cut off. Then 'Pulp Fiction' which is also violet, and then he made 'Kill Bill' (not sure if it went to Cannes) but the point is, there is a way to make violence and gore acceptable for the Cannes / mainstream community, but Lars chooses not to do that in order to provoke this exact reaction. We and many others are discussing, arguing and talking about his movie, while other, perhaps bigger and 'better' movies have passed us by. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did first hear about the new film's Cannes reception on the BBC News website so I guess it is officially newsworthy.

Really though, my article is not a news story, it's an opinion and an essay on a subject quite close to the heart of filmmakers.

Not all of us want to be entertainers.

Read this article for example, which starts off by saying...

"Lars von Trier's inclination to think and say things that seem unusual and insensitive is vital to the genius of a director who's here to trouble us, not entertain"

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/sep/22/lars-von-trier-david-thomson

Exactly

He is here to trouble us and to prod, to get us out of our comfort zone and possibly even to give a few of us nightmares.

That to me is very exciting, quite thrilling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

"Lars von Trier's inclination to think and say things that seem unusual and insensitive is vital to the genius of a director who's here to trouble us, not entertain"

Yes - to think and say, not necessary to show it nowadays: today it is simply too cheep and "cool". After all hardcore sex around, after ISIS decapitations on youtube, 40+ years after Salo or In the Realm of the Senses or Last tango in Paris, 60 years after Night and Fog of Alain Resnais  etc - I'm really not out of comfort zone by anything that shows me how human could be sensual, perverse, brutal or sadistic monster.

Problem/case with today's Lars von Trier is, very simple and very often repeated, problem of diminishing quality and inspiration, replaced with superficial (psychological) effects and mannerism. Would Breaking the waves be better if we can see Emily Watson raped several times? Or double of Nicole Kidman busy with fellatio in Dogville? Or if we can see ritual collective masturbation in Idioterne?

Themes of "dark" sides of human nature were often deeply explored and presented with brilliant subtle artistry by L.v. Trier as admirer of Tarkovsky - but with Nymphomaniac it seems that he started to lose his concentration and focus, becoming less subtle and more pompous and trivial, or simply without-fuel-so-old.

This case I see as example of, to say so, boring mutual pretending and higher mutual pseudoart hypocrisy - critics are pretending that are shocked, von Trier is pretending that he still can touch something hidden/important.

In fact, being "troubled" seems no more original nor trouble at all - performing similar "troubles" today is very usual and trashy way of new-age-taste entertainment.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only watched the trailer but couldn't stop laughing.

At times, I even wondered how LvT strapped all those cameras and mics on and around me without my knowledge.

But seriously, I have a problem with gratuitous violence when there is no intelligence behind it. Fortunately most of what I've seen from Lars is turning larger wheels... and knowing just how terribly conservative some cultures can be, part of me is extremely grateful for the ones who push the limits and the cultures that are open enough to value it, however uncomfortable for some.

For those who want to get a sense of where and how we've arrived to this place of ugly liberal values supported by half baked social justice warriors, please look towards the work of Jordan Peterson who is one of the brightest people we have amoung us today and currently the hottest names on the talk circuit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×