CONTROVERSIAL director Lars Von Trier may not win the Palme d’Or at this, year’s Cannes Film Festival but he appears odds-on favourite to take the prize for the strangest press conference.
The Danish film-maker managed to talk about Adolf Hitler, porn films and the drinking habits of some of his stars as he joked his way through a 40-minute appearance in front of reporters.
His film, Melancholia, is the story of two sisters, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kirsten Dunst, and how they deal with the knowledge another planet is about to crash into Earth, destroying it.
Von Trier said: “To me it is not so much a film about the end of the world, it’s a film about a state of mind.”
Dunst said she was “drawn to the project”, adding: “For me Lars is the only director that specifically just writes films for women who can be ugly and messy and emotional and not have this perfect idea of what women should be in film.”
The eccentric film-maker then took centre stage with a series of rambling answers to questions, including the admission there was a chance that the film, which also stars Kiefer Sutherland and is in the running for the Palme d’Or, was “crap”.
He added: “Of course I hope not, but there’s quite a big possibility it’s really not worth seeing.”
Von Trier, who is well-known for including graphic sex scenes in his films, joked Dunst had insisted his next film would be a “a porn film” and she would star in it alongside Gainsbourg.
He said: “It’s going to be three or four hours long and the only reason for that is the press conference will be a little later so I can sleep a little longer.”
Von Trier said stopping drinking had improved his life but added that he was “philosophically against not drinking”.
Von Trier, who was brought up believing he was Jewish until he discovered his biological father was a German Catholic, then turned his thoughts to religion.
He said: “I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out I was really a Nazi, you know because my family was German.”
He said he could “understand Hitler”, adding: “But come on, I’m not for the Second World War and I’m not against Jews.”
With Dunst looking increasingly uncomfortable at his answers, Von Trier asked reporters: “How can I get out of this sentence?”
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