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ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
How does the world end? When it is in the hands of the cinematic master of human misery, dark Danish auteur Lars von Trier, as it is in "Melancholia," it ends in extraordinary, horrific, searing, aching and unthinkable ways. It is his most hopeful film yet. Still firmly rooted in the filmmaker's esoteric, frustrating, provoking, demanding narrative style, the movie is also amazingly romantic — lush, ripe, rich, delicious. Its apocalyptic vision is encouraging in its hopelessness; its star, Kirsten Dunst, luminous in her anguish and devastation.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Lars von Trier is in many ways the central casting version of an international art house filmmaker. Or maybe a "Saturday Night Live" parody played straight. Often giving himself the role of the provocateur, Von Trier makes films that dare to examine the trickier corners of the human condition - grief, love, lust and their intersections - and there is without question something bold in his desire and ability for confrontation. Yet as he has became known to many people for his news conference pranksterism instead of his actual filmmaking, it has seemed over the last few years that he has gone a bit off the rails, perhaps losing himself to his own self-created persona as the most terrible of enfants terribles . It had become something of a spectator sport for Von Trier to face off against an often hostile, baiting international press corps with each new film and bait them right back.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Lars von Trier is in many ways the central casting version of an international art house filmmaker. Or maybe a "Saturday Night Live" parody played straight. Often giving himself the role of the provocateur, Von Trier makes films that dare to examine the trickier corners of the human condition - grief, love, lust and their intersections - and there is without question something bold in his desire and ability for confrontation. Yet as he has became known to many people for his news conference pranksterism instead of his actual filmmaking, it has seemed over the last few years that he has gone a bit off the rails, perhaps losing himself to his own self-created persona as the most terrible of enfants terribles . It had become something of a spectator sport for Von Trier to face off against an often hostile, baiting international press corps with each new film and bait them right back.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Picking up the story from the first film with little more than a title card - no "previously on" recap here - Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier jumps right back into it with "Nymphomaniac: Volume II" as Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) continues to recount her life as a sex addict to the man (Stellan Skarsgård) who found her slumped in the street and took her in. In "Volume II," Von Trier reveals that his "Nymphomaniac" project could also be called "The Hunger Games" for the way in which it explores the boundaries of need and want and the play between desire and demand.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2009 | Dennis Lim
His hallucinatory horror film "Antichrist" elicited derisive giggles and howls from an irate media audience. Later, he was booed at his own news conference. But Lars von Trier is insisting, as he so often does, that he never intended to play the provocateur. "If somebody asked me to make a provoking film, I wouldn't know how to do it," Von Trier said in an interview at the Hotel du Cap, a luxury resort up the coast from the bustle of the Croisette.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2011
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Thursday. Lars von Trier is very, very, very sorry for his Nazi comments at Cannes. ( Los Angeles Times ) Too late, Von Trier. Cannes says you're banned. Effective immediately. ( The Wrap ) Univision has plans to launch three new channels, including one devoted to those sexy, sexy telenovelas . ( Los Angeles Times ) While no one was paying attention, CBS' "The Good Wife" had an old-fashioned steamy lesbian love scene.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 4, 2005 | From Associated Press
Lars von Trier has cut a scene from his latest film that showed a donkey being butchered for food. Von Trier said he cut the scene from "Manderlay" not because he thought it was cruel but out of concern that it would draw attention away from the movie's political and social content.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2007 | From the Associated Press
The Danish director Lars Von Trier said a period of depression has left him unable to work and he has doubts about when he will return to filmmaking. In an interview published over the weekend in Denmark's Politiken newspaper, Von Trier said the aftermath of his depression has left him "like a blank sheet of paper." "It's very strange for me, because I've always had at least three projects in my head at one time," he said.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 15, 2007 | Kevin Thomas, Special to The Times
"The Boss of It All" finds iconoclastic Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier in the lightest mood of his career. His best movies, such as "Breaking the Waves" and "Dancer in the Dark," are charged with wrenching tragedy and despair, and Von Trier's notion of comedy has seemed exceedingly dark, albeit outrageous, as exemplified by the surreal shenanigans of "The Kingdom," set in an immense Copenhagen hospital.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2006 | Josh Kun, Special to The Times
In 2003's "Dogville," the first installment in Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier's United States trilogy, the town philosopher Tom Edison tries to explain his penchant for inflicting long public lectures on his fellow citizens. "I think there's a lot this country's forgotten," he says. "I just try to refresh folks' memories by way of illustration."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK--Pretty much since the moment it began shooting, Lars von Trier's “Nymphomaniac” has whipped up controversy for its explicit nature and willingness to tackle sexual taboos. The film's frank portrayal of sexual obsession--and a character's eagerness to act thereon - is a notion most English-language films stay away from, and certainly English-language films with mainstream celebrities like Shia LaBeouf. But one of the film's stars says that there's little place or reason for outrage.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier understands the art and craft of making movies, the power the form is capable of combined with the skill and means to achieve it, about as well as anyone working in the world today. He also seems to believe in cinema as an apparatus for the creation of bad feelings, a means for exploring the bleakest of human emotions and the darkest corners of our souls. Lucky us? Even the title of his latest film, "Nymphomaniac: Volume 1," seems some odd combo of put-on and provocation.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK - Uma Thurman is bopping around a downtown Asian-fusion restaurant in this city she calls home, having just enthusiastically ordered some of the fried specialties ("I never met a dumpling I didn't like"), her 6-foot-frame and luminous skin incongruous among the normal-sized and average-complected people around her. Thurman has a demonstrative personality that some would call actress-y, though it seems less like a put-on than simply the grand way she chooses to go through life.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2011 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The idea of a "good year" at the movies is perhaps part objective truth, part selective collation, part smart spin. So I will gladly declare this an outstanding year at the art house, where there was consistently more enthusiasm for quality work than there was space in print to discuss the boldly incisive, insightful films parading into theaters. It's a wildly diverse list that includes not just English-language narrative films like "The Tree of Life," "Melancholia," "Beginners," "Meek's Cutoff," "Cold Weather," "The Future," "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin" but also such documentaries as "The Interrupters," "The Arbor," "Dragonslayer" and "The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975" — not to mention such foreign-language films as "City of Life and Death," "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," "Carancho," "Mysteries of Lisbon," "The Yellow Sea" and "A Separation.
NEWS
December 1, 2011 | By Gina McIntyre, Los Angeles Times
As Justine, the complicated young bride at the center of Lars von Trier's apocalyptic meditation on depression, "Melancholia," Kirsten Dunst is called upon to convey great depths of anguish with very little dialogue. But Dunst, 29, delivers such a nuanced, polished performance that it's easy to see Justine's grief living behind her eyes as the beautiful woman with the doomed future fumbles her way through her lavish nuptials, leaving a trail of fractured relationships in her wake. Just as the film was set to open in Los Angeles, Dunst, who took home the lead actress prize when "Melancholia" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, sat down to discuss how she invested the character with her own experiences and those of the controversial Danish auteur, who's grappled with depression — "all sensible people have," the filmmaker has said.
NEWS
December 1, 2011 | By Hugh Hart, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Silence speaks elegant volumes this fall as Scandinavian filmmakers bring a spare touch to subjects that usually get presented by Hollywood in the-louder-the-better fashion. Spycraft, car chases and the apocalypse figure are dominant themes in award season contenders "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," directed by Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson; "Drive," helmed by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn; and "Melancholia," from Denmark's melancholy auteur Lars von Trier. Like Susanne Bier, the Danish specialist in angst-fraught relationship dramas who directed last year's foreign-language Oscar winner, "In a Better World," the Northern Europeans behind these English-language features share a gift for handling deeply dysfunctional characters with dry aplomb.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2004 | From Associated Press
Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has dropped plans to direct a production of the "Ring der Nibelungen" cycle at the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, the festival said Friday. The "Dogville" director said he realized that his vision for the production, scheduled for 2006, "would clearly exceed his powers" and fall short of the festival's high standards, festival organizers said in a statement. No replacement has been named.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 1998 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Something is still rotten in the state of Denmark! Having affirmed the possibility that faith can work miracles in his go-for-broke, internationally acclaimed "Breaking the Waves," Denmark's endlessly venturesome Lars von Trier returned to television to create "The Kingdom II," a sequel to his mind-blowing account of supernatural occurrences--and all-too-human shenanigans--at the National State Hospital in Copenhagen.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
How does the world end? When it is in the hands of the cinematic master of human misery, dark Danish auteur Lars von Trier, as it is in "Melancholia," it ends in extraordinary, horrific, searing, aching and unthinkable ways. It is his most hopeful film yet. Still firmly rooted in the filmmaker's esoteric, frustrating, provoking, demanding narrative style, the movie is also amazingly romantic — lush, ripe, rich, delicious. Its apocalyptic vision is encouraging in its hopelessness; its star, Kirsten Dunst, luminous in her anguish and devastation.
OPINION
June 14, 2011
Comedy has long been accepted as a medium in which performers can push the boundaries of taste. The same way visual artists can show us something that both shocks and expands our sensibilities, comic artists, at their best, can tell us things that jar, surprise and even offend us — and make us reconsider thorny issues. But that's not what Tracy Morgan, the comedian and star of the popular NBC TV comedy "30 Rock," did during a recent stand-up gig in Nashville, when he unleashed a rant against gays and said that if a son of his ever came home sounding effeminate, he would pull out a knife and stab him. That wasn't pushing any new boundaries; if anything, it was a reversion to old ones.
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