Hitler’s Just All Right With Me!

How much trouble can one vegetarian artist cause?
How much trouble can one vegetarian artist cause?

Before I took over the editorial desk at World News Center, I actually used to live in the world. I’ve been to six of the seven possible continents. If I wanted to count watching a Russian security guard have sex with our African pilot so we could get our plane re-routed out of Antarctica, then I’ve hit all seven, but I try to bury that particular memory at every possible chance. Anyway, as I said, I’ve been around. Not as much as Maria Gomes Valentim, who’s the oldest human on the planet and who ascribes her longevity to smoking three packs a day, drinking straight bourbon and having sex with young sailors. Oh, wait, that was an aunt of mine who passed away in her 90’s. Mrs. Valentim has not commented on her personal lifestyle choices.

Speaking of people who can’t be killed by the usual suspects, some dude in Fon du Lac (where I have many relatives) just ate his 25,000th Big Mac. As Nude Hippo regulars know, McDonald’s sells food that will not die, so I guess it can’t be that bad for you, as long as you don’t mind your 4 year old son developing lactating breasts.

Speaking of food, our crack border agents, forever memorialized for preventing an iguana taco invasion, have now prevented us from being forced to eat sausage that hasn’t been treated with steroids and chemicals.

“But, Uncle Big Bad,” you whine needlessly, “the title says you’re going to talk about Mr. Hitler.”

And I am.

But, first, I have to tell you about Cannes, France. In January they hold the world’s largest music festival called MIDEM which allows attendees to see what labels are going to release months before the public ever even hears a rumor. Four months later they hold their famous film festival. I’ve been to both on several occasions.

It is the film festival which holds my attention today. This is a festival that honored admitted pedophile, Roman Pulanski, with multiple awards and introduced him to many young girls, so it’s no surprise that Lars von Trier would use that platform to announce that he’s a Jew who thinks Hitler was kind of okay.

Von Trier has never been very P.C. and his Cannes press conferences always play like a dark stand-up routine, but at the Melancholia press conference he took it to another level, tossing a grenade into any sense of public decorum. In response to a question about his Germanic roots, Von Trier set off on a long and twisted answer that, if this were America, not Cannes, would have meant career suicide.

“For a long time I thought I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew,” he began, “then I met (Danish and Jewish director) Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”

Von Trier qualified that “I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier” before digging himself deeper. “In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass but…”

As Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, sitting on either side of Von Trier, stared at him agog, the director paused.

“Now how can I get out of this sentence? Ok. I’m a Nazi.”

It was a grandiose performance by European cinema’s premiere enfant terrible as Von Trier managed to shock just about everyone in the room. And also made them laugh with the sort of chuckle that gets caught in the throat.

The Nazi comments came at the end of a sprawling routine in which Von Trier said his new movie “may be crap…there’s quite a big possibility that it might not be worth seeing” and mused that his next project with Dunst and Gainsbourg would be a 3 to 4 hour porn film “with lots of uncomfortable sex.”

Von Trier’s deadpan delivery and cheerful cherub-like smile hinted to the audience that everything was one big joke.

Certainly no one took the director seriously when, asked if he would like to do a film on a larger scale, answered: “Yes. We Nazis like to do things on a big scale. Maybe I could do The Final Solution.”

During Cannes, it was also announced that von Trier and Martin Scorsese are teaming up for a remake of The Five Obstructions, von Trier’s 2003 documentary deconstructing the film making process.

The project, called The Five Obstructions, Trier vs. Scorsese, pre-sold to Poland (Kino Swiat), Romanian (Independenta) and the Czech and Slovak Republics (Aero Films) at the Cannes market.

Just FYI Skippy, Hitler was Austrian, not German and making fun of the death of 60 million people is not really a knee slapper. You may as well as claim that Klaus Strauss-Khan only meant to try an unique way of proffering a tip. Well, I meant that figuratively, not in the literal sense that the poor woman had to deal with.

Hitler Video
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Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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