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Lars Von Trier is a provocateur (in Cannes) or just an abuser?


From what I’ve heard it’s not being easy being Lars Von Trier anywhere, not just in Cannes. Yeah… You’ve probably heard the news about the controversial Danish director and his latest film.

Lars Von Trier is back at this year’s Cannes Film Festival after almost 7 year ban, with the psychological horror film The House That Jack Built and it’s already causing mayhem and uproar in the south of France.

No, not with his controversial comments and remarks (like before) but with the movie itself. The House That Jack Built is apparently too violent and disgusting for the audience to watch, and during its first screening this week, the movie had more than 100 walk outs from the movie theater.

The House That Jack Built stars Matt Dillon in the titular role, and it follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of 12 years and depicts the murders that truly develop Jack as a serial killer. “Gross. Pretentious. Vomitive. Torturous. Pathetic,” wrote one attendee on Twitter, while Roger Friedman described it as a “vile movie” that “should not have been made”. The critical reception for the movies is…  Let’s just say not that great either.

Now, I haven’t seen The House That Jack Built yet, so I cannot comment on whether those statements are true or not, but I have seen the director’s previous films and with that reasoning… I’m going to go ahead and say it… what did you expect from a Lars Von Trier film?

While I can’t argue that it’s not easy being Lars Von Trier especially now, I dare ask… when has it ever been? The man is a born first class provocateur. Whether it’s with his films, or with his comments, opinions or just with personality you kinda know what you’re getting with him or his movies. He’s used sex, grief, depression and most importantly the women in his movies to make his point even when there is no point at all. I’d like to emphasize the word used here.

You may or may not agree with me, but I feel that he enjoys it. He relishes it. Using people and then abusing them. His co-workers, his leading actresses and let’s not forget us the audience. We still have faith in him, we still respect him and still to this day go out and see his film no matter how controversial they are. I feel that we are the used and abused ones, and all in the hands of Lars Von Trier. It happened in Cannes this week too. The festival gave him a second chance and then the walk-out happened. Hundreds of intelligent, artistic people dressed in pretty gowns and tuxedos, paraded on the red carpet, bought tickets and were disappointed by him and his movie. Is it too much to say that they were abused by him?

I think so. Look. I doubt that The House That Jack Built will be the last controversial film at Cannes, and I highly doubt that it will be the last controversial film in Von Trier’s career. He’s a provocateur and will likely stay that way until the very last day of his life. But I just wish he’d stop being a manipilative abuser of our expectations, patience and our willingness to forgive and forget.


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