Lars von Trier, the cardinal of chaos, has been thrown out of the Cannes Film Festival. His lastest film, the widely acclaimed Melancholia, was expelled from Palme D'Or competition and the director declared "persona non grata" after he admitted sympathies for Hitler and claimed to be a Nazi at a festival press event.
"I thought I was a Jew for a long time and was very happy being a Jew," von Trier explained to a room full of journalists, "then later on came (Jewish and Danish director) Susanne Bier, and then suddenly I wasn't so happy about being a Jew. No, that was a joke, sorry... But anyway, I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out I was really a Nazi, you know, because my family was German... which also gave me some pleasure."
Digging himself into a talking fox-sized hole, he continued: "I think he did some wrong things, yes, absolutely, but I can see him sitting in his bunker in the end. He's not what you would call a good guy, but I understand much about him and I sympathise with him."
In response Cannes released a statement declaring that it "profoundly regrets that this forum has been used by Lars Von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the festival. The board of directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately."
The key word in von Trier's bizarre riff is probably "joke" but if he had his tongue in his cheek, it was lost on the festival organisers. The director has since released a statement claiming that he'd been provoked by journalists, denying that he was anti-Semitic and insisting "nor am I a Nazi".