“Digusting”, “torturous”, “vomitive”, “like spending two hours in hell”…
The House That Jack Built triggered a flood of negative feedback at the Cannes Film Festival. The screening of Lars Von Trier‘s new film starring Matt Dillon aroused the indignation of the festival viewers. More than 100 people are said to have walked out before the end credits.
One might have expected such an outcry since Von Trier’s premiere, playing out of competition, required warning on the official schedule. That being said, sparing people’s sensitivity has never been one of Von Trier’s priorities. The Nymphomaniac and Antichrist director is well-known for the crudity of his movies; it is no wonder that The House That Jacks Built would chock some, as even its very subject is disturbing.
Indeed, the two-and-half-hour drama gives us a peek inside the twisted mind of a serial killer in the 70’s who views his murders as works of art. And despite the many walkouts and groans during the most brutal scenes, Lars Von Trier’s style still has its fans: the film received a six-minute long standing ovation in the theater.
This is not the first time that the Danish filmmaker hits the headlines with a scandal in Cannes. Seven years ago, his infamous comments about Hitler earned him the status of persona non grata. Von Trier’s return to the festival this year was thus a major talking point. And well, Lars did not disappoint.