Lars Von Trier responds to the walkouts of his ‘gross’ and ‘vile’ new film at Cannes

"I’m not sure if they hated it enough"

After it was reported that over 100 people walked out of Lars Von Trier’s ‘gross’ and ‘vile’ new film ‘The House That Jack Built‘ during a screening at Cannes Film Festival, the controversial director has said the reaction has made him feel “relaxed”.

The violent movie, which stars Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman, follows a psychopath’s murder spree through several decades. Ahead of its screening at Cannes, it was decided by the festival’s director Thierry Frémaux that the film was “so controversial” it couldn’t receive any awards. The film was instead shown at an out-of-competition slot.

Following the screening, Variety report that more than a hundred people were so shocked that they had to vacate the cinema.


“I’ve never seen anything like this at a film festival,” Variety‘s Ramin Setoodeh tweeted. “More than 100 people have walked out of Lars von Trier’s ‘The House That Jack Built,’ which depicts the mutilation of women and children. “It’s disgusting,” one woman said on her way out.”

The walkouts began following a graphic scene in which Dillon’s character shoots a hunting rifle at two young children.

Responding to the walkouts, Von Trier has said that it made him feel “very relaxed”.

“It’s quite important not to be loved by everybody, because then you’ve failed,” he told Cineuropa. “I’m not sure if they hated it enough, though. If it gets too popular, I’ll have a problem. But the reception seemed just about right, I think.”

He added: “I do know a bit about psychopaths. I’ve never killed anyone myself. If I do, it will probably be a journalist.”


Many took to social media to air their thoughts. “I’ve just walked out of #LarsVonTrier premiere at #Cannes2018 because seeing children being shot and killed is not art or entertainment,” one viewer posted. Another labelled the film: “Gross. Pretentious. Vomitive. Torturous. Pathetic.”

New York’s Showbiz 411 said that the movie simply “should not have been made”.

However, Setoodeh did go on to add that the film received a standing ovation. “As someone sitting near me put it: ‘They’ll clap for anything.'”

Last year, Lars Von Trier was accused of “verbal and physical abuse” by Björk’s manager. The Icelandic singer had previously made allegations that she was sexually harassed by an unnamed filmmaker.

Von Trier strongly denied any wrongdoing.