Interview with Lars Von Trier

I just found this extensive interview with Lars Von Trier from a few years back, in Sight and Sound, a translation of an interview in Die Ziet:

Die ZeitLars von Trier, who in your opinion has the power in an interview situation, the interviewer or the interviewee?

Lars von Trier: I could try to insist on a symbolic power. I could lay down the rule that during this talk you have to address me as King Lars. I could threaten to leave the room if you disobeyed. But that would do nothing to change the fact that in an interview, the same rules apply as in cinema. No matter what happens during the filming process, the power is in the hands of the editor. You havethe scissors in your hands so you have absolute power.

[…]

[Question…]

Lars von Trier: I come from a family of communist nudists. I was allowed to do or not do what I liked. My parents were not interested in whether I went to school or got drunk on white wine. After a childhood like that, you search for restrictions in your own life.

But communists actually have very strict rules.

[…]

[Question…]

Lars von Trier: That’s true, but that’s where things start to get very complicated. All my life I’ve been interested in the discrepancy between philosophy and reality, between conviction and its implementation. The general assumption is that all people are able to differentiate more or less equally between good and evil. But if this is the case, why does the world look like it does? Why have all the good intentions of my parents come to nothing. And why do my own good intentions lead to nothing?

There’s that wonderful guiding principle: always leave the toilette as you found it. Or: do unto others as you would have them do to you. Kant was right. It’s just that his imperative is a bit unspecific. But it is nevertheless one of the best guidelines for how people should live together. Apart from that I believe a society should treat its weaker members well. And that is not something that happens over there in America.

Die Ziet: Should we be thinking more about George W. Bushs sexuality?

Lars Von Trier: He’s a sexual being too and his psyche is very important for us all. I think he’s in love with Condoleezza Rice. And he’s dreaming of being whipped by her.

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