Four months after his Nazi-sympathizing comments made Lars von Trier persona non grata at Cannes, it seems the Danish auteur has had enough of keeping up appearances. In an extensive interview with GQ, he firmly retracted his various clarifications and apologies, in essence, shouting from the rooftops, “I am what I am!” Von Trier told the magazine, “I can’t be sorry for what I said — it’s against my nature… but that’s maybe where I’m really sick in my mind. You can’t be sorry about something that’s fundamentally you. Maybe I’m a freak in that sense.” Read his full comments after the jump.
“I don’t think there is a right or wrong thing to say. I think that anything can be said. That is very much me,” von Trier director told GQ. “To say I’m sorry for what I said is to say I’m sorry for what kind of a person I am, [and that] I’m sorry for my morals, and that would destroy me as a person.” Picking up speed, he continued, “It’s not true. I’m not sorry. I am not sorry for what I said. I’m sorry that it didn’t come out more clearly. I’m not sorry that I made a joke. But I’m sorry that I didn’t make it clear that it was a joke.”
A little less than two months before the release of Melancholia — the film he was presenting at Cannes when he made his startling remarks — it could be argued that von Trier is simply doing what he does best: stirring up controversy. Considering his admittedly off-kilter personality and the film’s success at Cannes in spite of the scandal, it wouldn’t be a huge stretch.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Is the unabashedly subversive director pulling the ultimate switcheroo and spearheading some sort of avant garde anti-apology trend? Or is von Trier’s justification a cop-out? Do you think the reaction back in May was a tempest in a teapot, or are there some lines that shouldn’t be crossed?