"Controversial" should be the fourth word in Lars von Trier's name. He was trolling viewers long before trolling was even a term.
He and the Cannes Film Festival both got what they wanted again with his new film, "The House That Jack Built," which earned both walkouts and a six-minute standing ovation. (Meanwhile, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" got what was described as a "tepid' reaction from the Cannes crowd.)
Von Trier both wrote and directed "The House That Jack Built," which stars Matt Dillon as serial killer Jack, who sees his murders as elaborate works of art.
The film reportedly prompted groans from the Cannes audience, and more than 100 walkouts. Why?
Scenes are said to be very graphic, with Jack mutilating and strangling his victims, who are mostly women. But let's be honest -- that's basically a yawn to most audiences. And it's vintage Lars von Trier. No, the scene that seemed to prompt the most walkouts was when Jack used a hunting rifle to blow the heads off two small children.
Many (but not all) viewers tweeted harsh reactions, which only served to make others more curious to see the movie, the way fans are always drawn to anything "controversial" and macabre:
Just left Lars Von Trier's The House that Jack Built.— The Oscar Predictor (@OscarPredictor) May 14, 2018
Gross. Pretentious. Vomitive. Torturous. Pathetic. #Cannes2018
Walked out on LarsvonTrier . Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors culpable— Showbiz 411 (@showbiz411) May 14, 2018
Wouldn't it be more newsworthy if people DIDN'T walk out in disgust of a Lars Von Trier movie?— Jay Bauman (@JayBauman1) May 15, 2018
I'm confused by people walking out of a Lars von Trier Film as if they expected something totally different from him 🤔 #Cannes2018— Rachel West (@rachel_is_here) May 14, 2018
Seeing a lot of "what were they expecting?!" in regards to disgust at the Lars von Trier movie.— Russ Fischer (@russfischer) May 14, 2018
Understanding a filmmaker's general leanings and being repulsed by a specific piece of work are not mutually exclusive.
annoying how everyone just forgot about björk accusing lars von trier of sexual harassment, and now he's premiering yet another film full of sexual violence against women at cannes— chris (@yeetismurder) May 15, 2018
wonder how many actors said no before lars von trier got to matt dillon— deep web menace (@jackpudwell) May 15, 2018
lars von trier is a misogynist & a nazi & y'all still let him back into cannes.......where he showed footage of concentration camps & children having their heads blown off pic.twitter.com/TTHG8FoeMW— madison (@drzestylicks) May 15, 2018
THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT: another trip through the abattoir of Lars von Trier's anxieties, this one a damning self-critique of / backhanded apology for the compulsive violence of artistic creation. the ending is a scorcher. very sorry to say that I loved this. #Cannes2018— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 15, 2018
Lars Von Trier: *Unbanned from Cannes*— Iggy Stardust (@IggySolo) May 15, 2018
Also Lars Von Trier: Hello Cannes, hope you enjoy my latest torture porn xoxo
THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT: Lars Von Trier is trolling us, complete with a section of clips from his own movies. He uses excessive violence (which is more ridiculous than shocking) & misogyny as a form of self-examination... I'd be offended if it didn't feel so empty #Cannes2018pic.twitter.com/m4YRFjuiz1— Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone) May 15, 2018
"Reports of multiple walkouts at Lars Von Trier's latest, calling the movie 'disgustingly violent'."— Jacob Knight (@JacobQKnight) May 14, 2018
So, when do I get to see it?
Really. This just makes so many people want to see it -- and they'll probably be expecting even more violence, so they'll just shrug it off. Desensitization in action. Here's the trailer for you:The movie costars Uma Thurman and Riley Keough and it's expected in select U.S. theaters this fall.
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