Von Trier stirs up Cannes with Hitler, Nazi quips

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Dunst, Gainsbourg and other “Melancholia” co-stars, including John Hurt and Stellan Skarsgard, sat stiff and stony-faced through most of von Trier’s comments. At one point, though, Dunst leaned over and whispered to von Trier, “Oh my God, this is terrible.”

In an interview later, Dunst said von Trier felt embarrassed about the remarks.

“He likes to run his mouth,” Dunst said. “I think he dug himself in a deep hole today.”

Dunst has a nude scene in “Melancholia,” and von Trier joked that he now intends to do a porn film with her.

“Now she wants more. That’s how women are, and Charlotte is behind this. They want a really, really, really hardcore film this time, and I’m doing my best,” von Trier said, as Dunst and Gainsbourg chuckled uncomfortably beside him.

Von Trier has a long history of agitating Cannes crowds. His 2000 drama “Dancer in the Dark” won the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, but the film sharply divided audiences, some loving it, some hating it.

Two years ago, his marital saga “Antichrist” aggravated many Cannes viewers with its torture-porn images, though the film went on to win the festival’s best-actress award for Gainsbourg.

Opening in U.S. theaters this fall, “Melancholia” casts Dunst as a woman in deep depression that turns her wedding day at the home of her sister (Gainsbourg) into a disaster. The story plays out against an end-of-the-world backdrop as a planet called Melancholia, which fittingly changes colors from blue to black, heads on a possible collision course with Earth.

The film also co-stars Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling and Udo Kier.

“Melancholia” earned polite applause after a press screening but none of the sharp booing that sometimes greets troubling films at Cannes, von Trier’s among them. Some critics were underwhelmed by the family dynamic von Trier created but praised the film’s gorgeous visuals and emotional prologue.

Von Trier himself played critic on the film, saying there are things he likes about it but that some of the images look terrible to him.

“Maybe it’s crap,” von Trier joked. “Of course, I hope not. But there is quite a big possibility that this might be, you know, really not worth seeing.”

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