George Hunka on Lars von Trier

Saturday 21st May 2011

Critic and blogger George Hunka
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In an informative, and carefully balanced, blog, George Hunka tells the story of film-maker Lars von Trier, who has been kicked out of the Cannes film festival for saying that he was a Nazi! Stupid, ill-considered and idiotic seems to be the general consensus, and other adjectives do come to mind. But while I agree that the really dumb lapses of artists should not be allowed to interfere with our enjoyment of their work — von Trier’s new one, Melancholia, sounds very interesting — I for one won’t be able to watch it without thinking about the attitudes of the man behind it. As someone who has been known to say ill-judged things, I do sympathise (a tiny bit) on the human level, but then again I’m not a world-famous artist. As regards von Trier, this is now a clear case of not being able to un-know something you know about a person. Just as it is impossible to un-know that, for example, Sarah Kane committed suicide after writing 4.48 Psychosis. But isn’t knowing a bit too much always the trouble with celebrity?

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