Cannes Chief Thierry Frémaux Teases Lars Von Trier Return, Reveals Competition Jury Member

By Andreas Wiseman, Nancy Tartaglione

Lars Von Trier Cannes

European cinema’s ultimate enfant terrible Lars von Trier looks set to return to the Croisette following comments from Cannes Film Festival artistic director Thierry Fremaux today. During an interview with French radio station Europe 1, Frémaux said Cannes President Pierre Lesucure “has really worked over the past few days to remove this persona non grata status which he (Lars) received seven years ago, thinking that it’s maybe time to give him a spot again as a filmmaker.”

When the hosts asked Frémaux directly about von Trier’s inclusion in the lineup, the festival head said, “There will maybe be an announcement…” They responded, “You don’t want to do the announcement this morning here?” and he replied, smiling, “Well I sort of just did a little.” Frémaux said at the lineup press conference last Thursday that there would be additions to the competition over the coming weeks.

Von Trier’s new movie The House That Jack Built is set in Washington State and covers the life and crimes of a serial killer over a 12-year period. Matt Dillon, Riley Keough, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman star. IFC acquired U.S. rights to the film in Cannes last May.

Here’s a reminder of the Lars snafu from 2011 when the arch provocateur landed himself in hot water during a surreal press conference for movie Melancholia, making ill-judged comments about Hitler and his own Nazi sympathies. A media storm ensued and Cannes responded by famously declaring the Croisette regular ‘persona non grata.’ However, Frémaux subsequently clarified that the festival expulsion was not an indefinite sentence.

The Dogville director won the Palme d’Or in 2000 for Dancer In The Dark. The movie’s star, Icelandic singer Bjork, has subsequently claimed she was sexually harassed by an unnamed Danish director prompting von Trier to deny his involvement in such an episode.

In the same radio interview today, Frémaux also confirmed that Cannes competition regular Andrey Zvyagintsev, who won the Jury Prize for Loveless last year, would be in the jury presided over by Cate Blanchett. The rest of the jury has yet to be announced.

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