Von Trier returns to Cannes

Banned director given reprieve as festival adds titles

by Richard Mowe

Matt Dillon in a scene from The House That Jack Built marking Lars von Trier’s return to Cannes, Out of Competition
Matt Dillon in a scene from The House That Jack Built marking Lars von Trier’s return to Cannes, Out of Competition Photo: Cannes Film Festival
Floated as a possibility at the media launch of the Cannes Film Festival last week the organisers now have confirmed that banned Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier will return to the Croisette for the 71st edition.

The chosen title will be his serial killer opus The House That Jack Built starring Matt Dillon, Riley Keough, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman. Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux had to seek special permission of the Festival’s board to reverse the veto on Trier, who made inflammatory Nazi remarks and caused a furore at the 2011 Festival during the press conference for Melancholia which was in Competition. The new film will show Out of Competition.

Lars von Trier is back to Cannes with a serial killer
Lars von Trier is back to Cannes with a serial killer Photo: Richard Mowe
Another late addition, also mentioned at the media gathering, will be Terry Gilliam’s troubled and long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which is set to be the closing film on May 19 (and will be released in France on the same date). Legal problems surrounding the production have been resolved, allowing it to be shown. The cast includes Adam Driver and Stellan Skarsgård.

Three additions have been slated for the Competition: Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart, starring Vanessa Paradis and also dealing with a serial killer; Sergey Dvortsevoy’s Ayka as well as Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree. Ceylan won the Palme d’Or with Winter Sleep in 2014.

The Cannes Film Festival takes place May 8-19.

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