The Nymphomaniac man and the virtue of “anti-Zionism”

February 21, 2014 at 8:16 pm (anti-semitism, cinema, fascism, film, Guardian, Jim D)

The film Nymphomaniac has been getting some pretty good reviews – in the serious press, you understand, because this is most emphatically not a porn movie. As the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshore tells us, “It is about the most tender, platonic relationship imaginable: a depressed and exhausted woman and an elderly, vulnerable man, played superbly by Charlotte Gainsbourgh and Stellan Skarsgård .” Sounds promising, I thought – I might even go and see it when it hits the multiplex.

But the review goes on, and suddenly bells start ringing. Writing about the film’s director, Lars von Trier, Bradshaw notes that “He playfully alludes to his earlier films Breaking the Waves and Antichrist, and is still clearly prickly about the ‘Nazi’ controversy of two years ago at Cannes. Out of nowhere Seligman [the 'elderly, vulnerable man' - JD] pointedly explains the virtue of being ‘ant-Zionist, not antisemitic'”.

Ah! This Von Trier – he must be that director chappie who upset people at the Cannes film festival with ill-advised comments about Hitler. If, like me, you can’t really remember the details, or indeed, didn’t take very much notice in the first place, this Youtube clip is worth watching:

Well, it’s certainly good to have any misunderstandings cleared up: when he said “I understand Hitler” and “OK, I am a Nazi!” Von Trier was just being playful. And now he’s got a character in his new film making the distinction between “anti-Zionist” and “antisemitic”, it’s obvious that the director cannot possibly be an antisemite. I mean, just using the words “anti-Zionist” proves that doesn’t it? And, after all, even at Cannes he stated “Israel is a pain in the ass.” So it’s OK for the Guardian and its readers to like poor, misunderstood Mr Von Trier, and his latest (“heartfelt and even passionate” – P Bradshaw) film.

3 Comments

  1. The Nymphomaniac man and the virtue of “anti-Zionism” | OzHouse said,

    […] Feb 21 2014 by admin […]

  2. Mick O said,

    Just another pretentious showbiz wanker convinced that his artistic genius (at least in his own mind) grants him immunity from any accusations of crass offensiveness from us mere mortals.

  3. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Constantly amazes me that people expect actors and film directors to be any less ignorant and foolish than members of any other bourgeois profession.

    As for Trier I will always remember the first time I heard of him back in a 90s Eurotrash segment where for some reason he was directing a movie with no trousers or underwear on and they dubbed him with their silly posh male voice.

    So for me he’ll always be the man who was talking utter bollocks while you could actually see his bollocks.

    Despite which the handful of his films which I’ve actually seen do feature some true extraordinary performances from actresses who he seems to positively delight in degrading (I am thinking of the middle aged protagonist in The Idiots, Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves and Bjork in whatever that film was called) – but it is all so palpably creepy I can’t stomach watching any more of them…..

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