Though anyone familiar with Lars Von Trier's recent interviews can understand that he is...well, basically an asshole.
“I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out that I was really a Nazi. You know, because my family was German, Hartmann. Which also gave me some pleasure...[Hitler] he did some wrong things. Yes, absolutely. But I can see him sitting in his bunker in the end...
I will ... no, I’m just saying that I think I understand the man. He’s not what you would call a good guy, but yeah, I understand much about him and I sympathise with him a little bit. Not but come on, I’m not for the Second World War. And I’m not against Jews."Such a quote is impossible to take out of context. He said those things and it was really, really weird. Kirsten Dunst was flustered and looked deeply embarrassed for the director during the interview. Von Trier got banned from Cannes for the things he said and Jewish Groups were up in arms.
Please don't say your a Nazi when you aren't because I'm going to take you seriously no matter what. I don't like anti-semitism and I really don't take holocaust jokes lightly. If someone tells me they sympathize with Hitler, even if they joke about it, I'm never really going to look at them the same way. It's just who I am. So what does this mean for Von Trier's films? Am I to boycott them?
Respecting the art but disrespecting the artist is something I've run into a few times before. The classic example is Woody Allen, whose films I obsess over (I currently have MIDNIGHT IN PARIS typed dramatically in my computer calender for when it comes to Philadelphia.) But I can't forget that Woody Allen has, in my opinion, an almost disgusting relationship with his wife Soon-Yi who was, really, his daughter. PLEASE do not give me that "they aren't biologically related" shit because he was involved in her life in a completely father-like way, and to watch someone grow from a child into an adult and then marry them is simply weird. Another favorite director of mine, Roman Polanski, had sex with a thirteen year old girl when he was 43! THAT'S REALLY GROSS! But his films are brilliant and remain some of my favorite movies of all time.
It's confusing to love the things these men produce but then strongly disapprove some of things they've done in life. I really respect the films these directors make but it's so hard for me to remember how terrible these people are. Allen, Polanski, and Von Trier are geniuses in their line of work...but they're also total losers. By following their work and supporting their artistic visions, am I somehow saying I support what they've done in life? Does having a great talent suddenly compensate for a lack of morals?
What is your opinion? Have you ever really loved the work a director/musician/artist has created even though the artist is really not the greatest person?