While the film/nerd gossip world recovered from Lars Von Trier's Nazi jokes, my heart went out to friend of Hello, TypePad Kirsten Dunst, who was getting rave reviews for her performance as the last bride before the world ends (although of course all of Von Trier's films are about the end of America, which dominates his world view even though he's never visited). Luckily friend-to-be fourfour.typepad.com took note of KD's expressions during that now-infamous press conference:
the real star of the clip is Kirsten Dunst whose media-trained world is clearly turned upside down as she sits next to a public figure who says shit you're not supposed to say as a public figure. Watching her negotiate her reality with what's happening next to her is an extremely tense, wholly human experience. I salute her squirming as Von Trier dug his hole deeper and deeper in the way I love best -- a gif wall. This is no mere wall of shame: it's one of mortification. "
All hail fourfour.typepad.com
At any rate, my concerns were not well-founded, as Dunst's best actress award at Cannes is a wonderful validation of her underrated career:
The other major news out of the festival was Danish director Lars Von Trier’s jokes about being a Nazi, which cast an ugly light around his otherwise widely praised end-of-the-world saga Melancholia, starring Kirsten Dunst as a new bride growing increasingly distant from her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) just as a new planet emerges in the solar system on a collision course with Earth.
Festival organizers declared Von Trier “persona non grata” after his remarks at the press conference for Melancholia, and he later apologized, but it roused division over whether the Antichrist director, who previously won the Palme d’Or for 2000′s Bjork musical Dancer in the Dark, should be so harshly punished for what was obviously not a serious comment. Melancholia didn’t win any major awards that Von Trier, as writer and director, might have been required to pick up. (His banishment meant he was unwelcome at the ceremony, though he remained eligible to win.)
But in what could be a consolation prize to an also-deserving contributor to the film, Dunst picked up the best actress prize — defeating Tilda Swinton, who was considered a front-runner for her performance as the distraught mother of a high-school killer in We Need To Talk About Kevin."
Also don't miss Christian's perspective on Von Trier's comments as well as Scott Macaulauy's at Filmmaker Magazine. I will always have a soft spot for Lars Von Trier, as his Zentropa was one of the first serious movies I saw in my life. I saw it at Georgetown's old Key Theatre after a trip to Burrito Brothers with my friend Jon Lacroix. Good times!