Director Lars Von Trier seemingly lost his shit when, at a press at the Cannes Film Festival for his film Melancholia, he declared himself a Nazi and Hitler sympathizer among things in a bout of verbal diarrhea that freaked out other members of the panel, before a moderator cut the event short.
His diatribe was set off by a question involving his use of German romantic music in the film and his interest in the Nazi aesthetic:
I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.
Some other choice quotes:
"Well, Israel is a pain in the ass ...
"Okay, I am a Nazi...
"Nazis tend to do things on a grander scale...
"Perhaps we can have a Final Solution for journalists...."
This followed Von Trier's explanation about his own depression and how he has quit drinking to help deal with it. Melancholia star, Kirsten Dunst, attempted to rein Von Trier in, whispering to him through a nervous giggle, "Oh my God, this is terrible."
He replied, "But this has a point, it will be okay." The rest of the cast—Charlotte Gainsbourg, Udo Kier, John Hurt—looked on in horror. Up until this point, journalists were laughing along with Von Trier (like when he insisted that his next film would be a hardcore porno staring Dunst with an up-close "beaver shot") even questioning why he doesn't make comedies.
Later, Von Trier issued an apology, saying, "If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize."
A representative from the Film Festival also apologized on the part of both the Festival and Von Trier, saying, "The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation. The Festival acknowledges this and is passing on Lars von Trier's apology. The Festival is adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects."
Von Trier: "Yes, I am a Nazi!" [Chicago Sun Times]
Cannes Film Festival Condemns Lars von Trier's Nazi Comments [THR]