It wasn’t that long ago that troublemaking director Lars Von Trier was poking fun at his Person Non Grata status bestowed upon him after his bungled comments in Cannes this spring. With a U.K. poster for “Melancholia” bearing an image of the director with a hilarious and fake official seal from Cannes in the top left corner, it seemed the director was putting the events on the Croisette behind him in good spirits. But it appears his saga is far from over as the director made a surprising announcement today.
The police in his native Denmark aren’t laughing about his Nazi comments and the director is now the center of an investigation as prosecutors determine whether or not he broke French laws against the justification of war crimes. And as a result, Lars Von Trier will no longer be speaking to the press, granting interviews or opening malls. Here’s his full statement:
Today at 2 pm I was questioned by the Police of North Zealand in connection with charges made by the prosecution of Grasse in France from August 2011 regarding a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes. The investigation covers comments made during the press conference in Cannes in May 2011. Due to these serious accusations I have realized that I do not possess the skills to express myself unequivocally and I have therefore decided from this day forth to refrain from all public statements and interviews.
Lars von Trier
Avedøre, 5. October 2011
So, an elaborate stunt? We somehow doubt it, but it looks like the formerly carefree and chatty director who never held anything back (to a fault) is now buttoning himself up against saying anything else incriminating. This is likely a result of legal advice as well. If he really is facing a serious investigation, his lawyers have probably advised that he stay off the press rounds until the whole matter is resolved.
As we said last month when this whole storm erupted again over his supposed refusal to apologize, the comments, while absolutely terrible, are being pretty much blown far out of proportion. Lars was going with a train of the thought that went way off the rails, in public, at the worst possible moment. It doesn’t excuse what he said, but to say he’s justifying war crimes is a stretch. But then again, the only legalese we know if from “Law & Order.” But anyway, you’re not gonna have Lars Von Trier to kick around anymore.