Lars von Trier Poster

Quotes (23)

  • A film should be like a rock in the shoe.
  • Basically, I'm afraid of everything in life, except filmmaking.
  • I don't think I tortured Nicole on Dogville (2003), but I know she said I was tough.
  • My films are about ideals that clash with the world. Every time it's a man in the lead, they have forgotten about the ideals. And everytime it's a woman in the lead, they take the ideals all the way.
  • If his creation is so great, why does God want us on our knees?
  • Put my American trilogy together and you'll have one hell of a grim evening. And you will not be entertained at all!
  • There are a lot of Americans I sympathise with very much, but not the Government right now, no. We just do not agree on politics, but that's not being Anti-American. I am critical about a country with a system that allows so many losers. I think that is wrong.
  • American studios give money to directors to educate them away from their creative fingerprint, even if that's the reason they wanted them in the first place. I've avoided that fate by making movies here. You have to fight the urge to do a big action movie. You avoid 'Batman.' The bigger it is, the worse it is.
  • Since I have said I am 60% American I can say there is one thing that kills any debate - an American disease called political correctness, which is a fear of talking ... What makes me a little bit sad is that there's an American TV show in which the president of the US is black. People say, 'Oh look, that's OK, there's a black president on TV.' That's completely humiliating because that's not how it is. There's no black president. Political correctness kills discussion.
  • A big part of our lives has to do with America. In our country it is overwhelming. I feel there could just as well be an American military presence in Denmark. We are a nation under a very bad influence, because I think Bush is an asshole and doing a lot of really stupid things. America is sitting on the world and therefore I am making films about it. I'd say 60% of the things I have experienced in my life are American, so in fact I am an American. But I can't go there and vote. That's why I am making films about America.
  • [on his mental state] I am at a place right now, where it's more messy than usual. ["Jeg er et sted ligenu hvor det roder mere end det plejer"]
  • [what the prizes he won mean to him] I am like all other people. I am pleased with prizes, but they don't make me happy. ["Jeg er vel ligesom alle andre mennesker. Jeg er glad for priser - Men de gør mig ikke lykkelig"]
  • Forget all the excuses, 'the childish fascination' and 'the all embracing humility', for this is my confession, black on white: I, Lars von Trier, am but a simple masturbator of the silver screen.
  • [at the press conference of Antichrist (2009)] I think it's a very strange question that I have to excuse myself [for writing and directing "Antichrist"]. I don't feel that. You are all my guests, it's not the other way around. [Cannes Film Festival, 2009]
  • I would say that I am a poor Christian, I'm not a believer. It was this idea very early in my life that life on earth, nature or man could not be a creation of a merciful God.
  • [at the press conference of Antichrist (2009)] I am the best film director in the world. [Cannes Film Festival, 2009]
  • I want to be surrounded by porn people who love me for what I am, who say, 'Where do you want the erection, where do you want the penetration?' Where it's not complicated.
  • [at the press conference of Melancholia (2011)] I really wanted to be a Jew and then I found out I was really a Nazi, you know, because my family was German [his biological father], which also gave me some pleasure. Hitler did some wrong things, absolutely, but I can see him sitting in his bunker at the end [referring to Der Untergang (2004)] He's not what you call a good guy, but I understand much about him and I sympathize with him. [Cannes Film Festival, 2011]
  • Everything is going to Hell, but we should smile all the way.
  • When you shoot a film, it's hard work, and you tend to drink more. ... I've taken other drugs that helped me a lot - that was kind of the way I worked. But drinking is more to overcome some anxiety.
  • [on the problems of being sober] Who the hell cares about The Rolling Stones when you don't have a sense that they've just emptied a bottle of Jack Daniels? That's nonsense. Or Jimi Hendrix without heroin or whatever he was on. That's rubbish; we can't be bothered with that. We don't want that, because we want their special approach through something mysterious, which is still somehow connected to various intoxicants, right? But when I work, I'll miss the intoxication, or rather, I may come to miss it. That's the point. I think it's really dreary to try to be sober. But I am. [2014]
  • [at a press conference for The House That Jack Built (2018)] I feel like shit. I have so much anxiety. I think I'm getting too old for this. Just to work on the set and rush around with some actors, even though they are very sweet, it is a challenge of dimensions. I don't think I can make any more films after this one. [March 2017]
  • [giving context to his controversial comments at the Cannes press conference of Melancholia (2011)] The real story, and that's where all the Nazi nonsense came from, was that Trier is a Jewish name, and a very big Jewish family. I added the von, maybe to get away from that, but that was first of all because it was forbidden for me to do it in the film school. You know if something is forbidden it's kind of attractive to me. But it was also Von Stroheim [Erich von Stroheim] and Von Sternberg [Josef von Sternberg], they added it also, because they came from Germany, and they said, 'how do we do it in Hollywood?' and of course we put a von in there, and they were suddenly noblemen, which was complete nonsense, they were not at all. And I like crooks somehow. I like the idea of that, so I put that in. But I took it very seriously that I was from a Jewish family. My family was, as I found out later, not considered to be a fine Jewish family because they didn't go to the synagogue, they were very much atheistic, and my father was very much against Israel, but he was very Jewish. But people can be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic, of course. This was very important to me. Then my mother died and on her deathbed she told me that my father was not my biological father, which is very common I believe, and probably has happened in royal houses anywhere where the name is important. And then I said this [at the press conference] in a stupid way because I was feeling good and relaxed. Then I have this stupid unprofessional thing that I need to entertain a little. This is the last one of these I'll do at Cannes. Because I get carried away. Then I say that I found out I was not a Jew but a Nazi, which meant I was on the other side of the fence. It was not nice to say, especially to the Germans. That's ridiculous and stupid. It was kind of the Danish way of being idiotic. And I regret that. I don't think I was really anti-Semitic, because that would be extremely stupid. All my four children have Jewish names, I take it very seriously. The real father, he was a German. That's why I said I was a Nazi. He was not a Nazi, he was a freedom fighter. Yes, I met him, he was an asshole. It was ridiculous, my mother said to me, 'You will like him so much, he is such a fantastic person.' Then I met a feminine man, he said, 'I was sure that your mother would protect herself.' He said to me, 'If you want to discuss more, it should be through my lawyer.' And he was 78. And I had imagined this kind of slow-motion thing. And he said, 'I have never accepted that child.' And he said that to me. It was completely awful, but that did not make him a Nazi, not at all, he was a freedom fighter, and very respectable in every way. I just didn't like him. But then I got some siblings, who I see. That's fine. The only thing that was funny in the story was that I was not Jewish, I was half-German. From there it went wrong. [Interview with Anne Thompson, 2011]