If Lars Von Trier's Manderlay doesn't elicit claims of anti-Americanism, hiscomments at today's Cannes press conference for the film certainly will.
"Let's get this businessabout me being anti-American out of the way," said the director beforelaunching into a blistering attack on the President of the United States.
"Mr. Bush is an asshole,"said the director. "That's not even an insult. America is shitting on theworld."
The second film of theDanish auteur's USA trilogy, Manderlay stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace, an innocent abroad, as she stumblesinto another small town and discovers slavery being practiced 70 years afteremancipation. Like Dogville beforeit, Manderlay was shot entirelyon a naked soundstage employing minimal props and imaginary doors.
Grace is a well-meaning naïfwhose blinkered do-goodery only makes a horrible situation worse, a satiricalcritique of US foreign policy.
"It's such a huge subject," he continued, suggesting that 60%of his mental capacity is preoccupied with the US in some way. "I feel like I'man American but I can't vote. I'mfrom a small country and I can't do anything."
One Canadian journalist,playing that nation's role of diplomat, wondered how Von Trier would feel if aUS filmmaker made a story that dredged through the various shames in Danishhistory. "I can't wait to see it," said Von Trier.
Read the full review ofManderlay on ScreenDaily.com