Lars von Trier Proud of Cannes Ban

Lars von Trier, the Danish director, has defended his remarks made recently at France’s Cannes Film Festival, including his admission that he sympathizes with Adolf Hitler.

Danish director Lars von Trier made waves at the Cannes film festival this week after making joking comments that he was a Nazi and “sympathized” with Adolf Hitler. Now, he tells the Hollywood Reporter that he is sorry for any damage that his comments have done to Cannes’ reputation but is “a little proud” of being named a persona non grata.

“I think my family would be proud,” von Trier said jokingly. “I have a French order. Now they will likely tear it off my chest.”

Still, von Trier said that he is “no Mel Gibson” and expressed sadness that his comments were misunderstood.

“It’s a pity because (Jewish festival head) Gilles Jacob is a close personal friend of mine,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

The Cannes ban, the first applied to a director, meant that von Trier was not allowed “within 100 meters” of the Festival Palais and red carpet, and was consequently unable to attend Sunday’s awards ceremony where his film, “Melancholia,” garnered a best actress award for Kirsten Dunst. Dunst, who was present at the time of the director's comments, was one of the first to recognize just how bad the statements were going to be received.

Instead of returning back to Denmark after his ban, von Trier stayed in the area and took meetings with journalists inside his hotel room.  He has called his comments “extremely stupid,” but in an interview with Salon.com, he said they stemmed from his desire “not to be an adult.”

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