Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of famous French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, made this IRM album with Beck last year, but she is also staring one more time in the new Lars Von Trier’s movie recently screened at the Cannes festival. She already had the leading role in his ‘Antichrist’, a movie so excruciating I would certainly avoid to see it a second time. I honestly don’t understand how she can do this to herself again. Wasn’t it enough to spend most of the movie naked crying in the middle of a dark forest, piercing a hole into William Dafoe’s leg and mutilating her own genitals? Ok, she won the Best Actress Award at the 2009 Cannes film Festival for all her pain and suffering, but she said that even when she was recording with Beck, she was still thinking about the movie:
‘I was in quite a desperate mood after the shoot. I had been isolated in Germany filming for two months. To suddenly go from a place where I had the right to be hysterical and in a full crisis to being normal again was a weird change. It was fun for me to be able to talk to Beck about the shoot and how extreme it had been.’
She knows what she was getting into, but she did it again along with Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland, her suffering companions for the movie ‘Melancholia’, which is reportedly a ‘psychological disaster movie,’ involving a planet whose orbit intersects that of Earth.
And seeing what Lars Von Trier just said at a press conference at Cannes, it is just a matter of time until we hear more about the torture these actors have endured.
British film critic Kate Muir asked Von Trier about his German heritage, and suddenly he declared:
‘The only thing I can tell you is that I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew, then later on came [Danish and Jewish director] Susanne Bier, and suddenly I wasn't so happy about being a Jew. That was a joke. Sorry. But it turned out that I was not a Jew. If I'd been a Jew, then I would be a second-wave Jew, a kind of a new-wave Jew, but anyway, I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out that I was really a Nazi, because my family is German. And that also gave me some pleasure. So, I, what can I say? I understand Hitler. I think he did some wrong things but I can see him sitting in his bunker.’
He could have stopped right there, and realized what absurdity he had just said, but no, he continued:
‘I'm saying that I think I understand the man. He is not what we could call a good guy, but yeah, I understand much about him and I sympathize with him … But come on! I'm not for the Second World War. And I'm not against Jews. No, not even Susanne Bier. I am very much for them. As much as Israelis are a pain in the ass. How do I get out of this sentence? Okay, I am a Nazi.’
Some rare people laughed, but imagine the malaise of the two actresses Gainsbourg and Dunst who were by his sides, successively putting their face in their hands…. Was he joking? I watched the video on the Cannes page (http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/mediaPlayer/11391.html) and I would say he was kind of serious, kind of joking, a weird guy, this Lars Von Trier.
There was a follow-up question from a journalist who tried to save him and asked him if he would ever do a blockbuster, Von Trier went even deeper with his bad taste joke:
’Yes. We Nazis have a tendency to try to do things on a greater scale. Maybe I could do the Final Solution’.
He was forced to apologize and declared later:
‘If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize. I am not anti-Semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi’.
So I don’t know, he is too intelligent for not knowing this kind of heavy stuff can ‘hurt’ or be taken really badly. I don’t know what he was trying to demonstrate, he was not a character of one of his movie, this was not art but real life.
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