Lars Von Trier's announcements were the lively 2011 Cannes Film Festival. After the scandal, he decided to never report to the press – unless his situation requires it. Now The house that Jack built after his world premiere gave an interview to the Nephi.
– But, please, eat it. We would be much better off because I have nothing to say. I'm just giving an interview because I have to.
Really? Is the house that Jack built to prepare someone else?
– Yeah. My accountant and bankers. They said that if I did not do something fast, the Zentropa would go into a tube.
I understand. I am not a cannibalist, so let's stay the traditional questions, you're in charge of the version.
– Please, if you think so. I'm going to be more painful than you do.
Then I'll be empathetic. The house that Jack built in one scene of the serial killer says that men are always victims.
"Maybe it was because my mother was an extreme feminist. This sentence has always been with me since I grew up. It is not a day to stop feeling guilty, I know for sure what the sin I am doing. In addition, I do not believe in God, so there is no religious guilt. Returning to the movie: When Jack puts this sentence out of his mouth, I thought it was humorous because he was just killing a knife in a murder. The script of each of my films is a scrutiny of human nature. Humorous way. Those moments are of interest when you are not behaving in a human way. Only this is not always understood.
But so far they have had positive female heroes, and now they are a cruel man.
"Yes, now that I am over the mandatory circles, pleasure can come. (laughs) But in a serious answer, we accept a lot more cruelty than a woman from a man.
How fast can you write and shoot a movie? As I heard, Jack was made record-breaking.
– It's a big muscle. As I said, Jack had to do it because of Zentropa. I had two months to write the script. During that time, I can create a psychopath, especially that I read a lot of works written by Patricia Highsmith at the time, and she is incredibly entertaining about such figures. He's got the killers, and I'm psychopaths. It is fish to create such a sick character as an artist, because you can say anything and believe anything, the viewer accepts it unconditionally. You have to do this.
Let me ask you what he did with Matt Dillon? He gives life to Jack's role.
– It was very difficult to find the right actor for Jack's role, because too many people did not read the script. Matt Dillon was not heartbroken, he read it. We talked a lot then and said he was excited about working together. I would have been a fool to say no to her. Even if we have not seen him for a long time. Time needed to adapt to my method: I give total freedom, in return I expect a miracle. And he, as we progressed with the common work, jumped this miracle. I was fascinated.
You mentioned he did not believe in god, but Jack in the movie goes to hell.
"Yes, but hell has long gone out of fashion, do not you think?" Not trendy. There was a time when superhuman works of art were inspired by Capricorn. Today, a purgatory scene is more ridiculous than deterrent. I have tried to summarize these earlier interpretations. So there is a little Dante, little Blake, little Gericault, little Trier … But do not think about anything extravagant here, I wrote to the monitor next to the monitor: always be superficial so as not to misunderstand. For me, this is the most difficult thing in the world.
He said that all his works were in some way autobiographical.
– Did I really say that …? Otherwise, it is plausible, because while writing and writing, I identify with all my characters. Jack is an artist. You can not build a house from normal materials. It must have sixty-four people.
Does this number have any significance?
– It's not for me. But your question is interesting!
What do you think is important to the artist, or should he focus only on the work?
"I can not answer that because I'm a huge David Bowie fan. For her, she was an integral part of her art as she appeared in public. Of course, the trivial answer would be to look at the creation – after all, most of the artists are boring. She is an artist. But what am I talking about? I should not tell women about anything wrong now. I asked them to drive a little current into my chair if I forgot about it.
The fact that he was persona non grata for seven years in Cannes, how did he process it?
"Because of a bad joke I was an undesirable person for seven years. I just want to ask what's going to happen to Harwey?
Be careful, because the electrical shock is really coming. But now seriously, was it difficult to return?
– It would have been. Of course, not me. Thierry Frémaux, the Artistic Director of the Festival, had already invited Nymphomania, but the organizing committee did not want to hear about me either. The house that Jack built for Thierry told them that the movie was unbeatable. There were fierce arguments and verdict finally was to come, but I can not compete. Anyway, the race is stupid, and I'm not too good at it. I've been here ten times in Cannes, but I've got only four or five awards. Others are certainly far better in this than me.
Have you changed something during the seven year exile?
– I'm humorous. And maybe I managed to deal with my alcoholism. I try not to live on the principle of carpe diem. But there are situations when I can not get out. Let's just say here in Cannes or if I write and shoot. Every actor and my clerk knows I'm a bit strange and drunk while working. I tried previously with antidepressants, but only alcohol.
In Cannes, many were outraged there The house Jack built his premiere. Now, what do you think about this, with your sober head?
– I did not expect anything else. If you make a movie about serial killers, usually evil is a subtle character who is being investigated and defeated. I forced the viewers to identify themselves with the evil. And yes, when Jack kills children, they are outraged. Great! Next time, they will not look like a killer hypocritically, as a tool for entertaining.
The boundaries of art
Lars von Trier is a self-employed creator. Perhaps the last great artist-director who works not on manuals but on instincts. While his creations are pushing the boundaries, Trier as a public actor is often in trouble. To the greatest in 2011, when he laughed in Cannes, he said: OK, I'm a Nazi. The next witch-hunt was greatly influenced by the house that Jack built for his latest work, which is a very sincere self-creation, an artistic and ontological creed. Trier responds to his own mockery in the film; not only by recalling his previous movies for a few frames. It brings forth the perfectionist architecture of the third imperial German architect, Albert Speer, and shakes the terrors of concentration fright, showing the difference between his personal faults and the true mass murderers. In fact, we even go to Hell – after Liberty.
The house that Jack builds surreally bizarre creation is the legitimation of extremes. Concerning the actual plot, Jack (Matt Dillon's impressive shaping), a serial killer confession, tells five incidents about his murders, motivations, and desires. Trier takes a hard look at the frontal representation of horror, with words it is difficult to describe, for example, a scene when a killer is executed with a family mother and child. Contrary to a number of other films, we do not see here a series of self-serving images: violence is not entertainment, but at the same time it is the definition of pleasure and horror. The chaos of the genre elements and the search for ars poetica (in this case the serial killer) is projected on a very strange and grotesque way of art theory on the canvas. The message is fading: perfect creation is far more valuable than any individual's life.
The house that Jack built
Distributed by Vertigo Media