- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CANNES, FRANCE (AP) - Cannes Film Festival organizers say they are “disturbed” by comments about Adolf Hitler made by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier.

They say von Trier has explained he “allowed himself to be egged on by a provocation” in a news conference. The festival said Wednesday “he presents his apology.”

In the news conference that followed the screening of his latest film, “Melancholia,” von Trier launched into a rambling monologue about his German heritage, at one point saying “I understand Hitler.”

He also said he thinks Israel is a pain and plans to make a porn flick with Kirsten Dunst, who stars in “Melancholia.”

The festival says it “acknowledges” von Trier’s apology.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

CANNES, France (AP) _ Lars von Trier brought the end of the world to the Cannes Film Festival _ then the Danish director really shook things up, saying he sympathizes with Adolf Hitler, thinks Israel is a pain and plans to make a porn flick with Kirsten Dunst.

Von Trier’s remarks stirred up reporters, and left Dunst and co-stars such as Charlotte Gainsbourg sitting uneasily alongside their director at a press conference Wednesday after his apocalyptic drama “Melancholia” had its first screening.

In an interview afterward, von Trier said he had been joking and did not think people took his comments seriously.

But he had reporters buzzing as he commented about his German heritage. Von Trier launched into a rambling train of thoughts, starting with how he used to think he was a Jew and his disappointment when he learned he was not.

“I really wanted to be a Jew, and then I found out that I was really a Nazi, because, you know, my family was German,” von Trier said. “Which also gave me some pleasure. …

“What can I say? I understand Hitler, but I think he did some wrong things, yes, absolutely. But I can see him sitting in his bunker in the end,” von Trier said. “He’s not what you would call a good guy, but I understand much about him, and I sympathize with him a little bit. But come on, I’m not for the Second World War, and I’m not against Jews. …

“I am very much for Jews. No, not too much, because Israel is a pain in the ass.”

Von Trier then asked, “How can I get out of this sentence?”

Going on to say he liked Hitler aide Albert Speer, von Trier finally wrapped up with the wisecrack, “OK, I’m a Nazi.”

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