Lars Von Trier’s latest movie The House That Jack Built was the most controversial film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, inspiring over 100 people to walk out of its premiere on Tuesday.
Featuring graphic and bloody scenes of murder, dismemberment and animal cruelty, it’s been slated by many of the critics who decided to stay and watch it (and even some of those who didn’t).
But now the controversial director, who has returned to the festival seven years after being banned for saying that he was a Nazi, has had his say about the critical revulsion, saying that the reaction has made him ‘very relaxed’.
“It’s quite important not to be loved by everybody, because then you’ve failed,” he told Cineuropa.
“I’m not sure if they hated it enough, though. If it gets too popular, I’ll have a problem. But the reception seemed just about right, I think.”
“In any case, this one was a pleasure to write. I don’t know too much about serial killers, but I do know a bit about psychopaths. And I’ve never killed anyone myself… If I do, it will probably be a journalist.”
As for his banishment from the festival for all this time, he added: “I feel welcome. The reception when I entered the cinema yesterday was very warm. It’s also a bit nice being out of competition.”
“They made it very clear that I would not be in competition this time around, as a little piece of remaining punishment for me. [Festival director] Thierry Frémaux has been working hard for me – for some reason, it was difficult to remove the persona non grata thing, very difficult.”
The film follows the titular Jack (Matt Dillon) as he embarks on a multiple killing spree across a period of twelve years, as he attempts to transform murder into art.
The House That Jack Built has not been scheduled for a UK release yet, but it’s due in Von Trier’s native Denmark on November 29, 2018.
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