(CBS) The reactions to director Lars von Trier's announcement, "I'm a Nazi," are in. They range from disappointed to dispassionate to confused.
And they have resulted in an apology from the Danish director who denied that he is either a Nazi or antiSemitic.
While at a press conference for his film "Melancholia," which is in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, a reporter asks von Trier, "Can you talk a bit about your German roots and the Gothic aspect of this film, and also you mentioned in a Danish film magazine also about you're interested in the Nazi aesthetic and you talked about that, German roots, at the same time. Can you tell us a bit more about that?"
At some points during his answer, he seems to be trying to give a thoughtful response to the question. At other times, he's making jokes - or seems to want to make a joke of what rapidly becomes an uncomfortable few minutes. (
At one point, Kirsten Dunst, seated at von Trier's left, says, "Oh God, this is terrible," with an I-can't-believe-this-is-happening laugh.
The Cannes Film Festival responded to von Trier's comments, issuing a statement that reads in part, "The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation," according to the The Hollywood Reporter. "The Festival acknowledges this and is passing on Lars von Trier's apology. The Festival is adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects."
THR reports von Trier issued an apology, saying, "If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize." He also said, "I am not antisemitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi."
The Anti-Defamation League talked to THR about von Trier's statements with a mix of disappointment and bemusement. "He seems to be struggling with some personal ghosts," Abraham H. Foxman, the ADL's national director, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "This is one way I guess, he resolved them, in a very, very bizarre way."
Later on, he says, "It's a bizarre outburst. I don't know what to make of it[.]"
Foxman said he would not advise a boycott of "Melancholia."
What do you make of von Trier's comments? Let us know.