Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier has been declared “persona non grata” by the board of the Cannes Film Festival which met the morning after the conference for “Melancholia,” starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kristen Dunst. This is in the wake of Von Trier’s odd diatribe about admiring Adolf Hitler and declaring himself to be a Nazi during a Wednesday press conference in Cannes following the morning press screening of his new film. That afternoon Screen Comment received an email from the film’s publicist in Cannes, Premier PR., which quoted a message from the director of the 2000 Palme-winning film “Dancer in the Dark”:
“If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize. I am not antisemitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a nazi.”
Von Trier was ordered off the Palais premises immediately after the Cannes Festival issued the notice. Parties to celebrate his film, “Melancholia,” have been cancelled although the film will remain in the race for this year’s Palme D’Or. Should it win, which is unlikely, Von Trier won’t be allowed to collect his trophy in person.