In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, people have been taking to social media to talk about experiences they endured covering the full spectrum of sexually abusive behavior. Using the hashtag “#metoo,” they describe experiences ranging from the appalling to the horrifying.

It’s been a sobering lesson in the size of the problem, particularly when those weighing in are celebrities. One celebrity is Björk, who wrote a long entry on her Facebook page detailing her experience with “a Danish director,” who she said had touched her inappropriately, among other things, and responded to her request to stop by smashing a chair in front of everyone on set.

Björk did not name the Danish director, I assume because she fears retaliation. However, if you go to her filmography and look up her very brief list of film appearances, it should take you 30 seconds, tops, to figure out who she’s talking about.

Every victim of abuse should have the right to go public on their own terms, in my opinion. So, I will respect her wishes and I won’t say anything about this “Danish director,” who she didn’t name.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to completely change the subject. I’m going to talk about Lars Von Trier, a director, who is Danish, who directed the 2000 movie “Dancer in the Dark,” in which Björk happens to star, by mere coincidence.

The first Lars Von Trier movie I ever watched was “Breaking the Waves,” at the behest of an old girlfriend many years ago, who loved the movie and said it had moved her to tears. We broke up before I could see the movie, so I watched it without her.

This ended up being a great thing, because I found it almost impossible to sit through the movie. It reminded me of sitting through silent detention during seventh grade, only instead of passing the time by writing 500 words about civic duty, I had to watch Emily Watson’s sexual humiliation, via a shaky handheld camera that made everything extra jittery and annoying.

I shut it off after about an hour or so, but my understanding is that the woman in the movie is killed at the hands of a mob for being such a slut.

That was in the late 1990s, and I simply avoided any movie with Von Trier’s name on it after that. He didn’t really appear on my radar again until an old friend contacted me out of the blue after several years, in the throes of bipolar disorder, to tell me that we Jews were finally going to get our comeuppance.

Her evidence for this was an anti-Semitic statement that Von Trier had made at a press conference. It didn’t bother me, because we Jews get to hear this type of thing all the time. No, it was the asshole actors who rushed to his defense, to say he was only kidding. I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine that if they had found him, say, molesting some Icelandic singer of some sort, they would say he didn’t mean it.

He later issued a bullshit apology and the whole thing went away, but it made me curious. Was he so great a filmmaker that people were willing to excuse his anti-Semitism? And if so, should I give his movies another whirl? Maybe in the 20 years or so since “Breaking the Waves,” he had invested in a tripod, thereby eliminating the shaky handheld camera schtick, and I could judge his movies soberly and without nausea.

I started out with “Antichrist.” I lasted seven minutes. Then I moved on to “Melancholia.” Five minutes.

What a bunch of pretentious, unwatchable horseshit. I refuse to believe any of you people out there actually like these shitty movies. I think you’re just trying to impress people with your ability to sit through them, the same way one would admire your skill with extreme BMXing, or be impressed by how much wasabi you can eat without crying.

Lars Von Trier is a horrible, miserable, shit director. His movies are pretentious and overbearing, and when you watch them, you feel like he’s sitting behind you in the theater, tapping you on the shoulder, going “Get a load of me! Isn’t that quite cheeky!”

If you like his movies, you’re stupid and you probably hate Jews and women, so fuck you.

Anyway, that’s my thought-provoking essay on the films of Lars Von Trier, who I can’t say with any certainty is the same person Björk was talking about on her Facebook page.

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About Author

Daniel Bukszpan is a freelance writer with over 20 years’ experience. He has written for such publications as Fortune, CNBC and The Daily Beast. He is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal,” published in 2003 by Barnes and Noble and “The Encyclopedia of New Wave,” published in 2012 by Sterling Publishing.

10 Comments

  1. Do Jews run the world?

    Who controls Hollywood, Wall Street, the media, and the US government?

    Who calls for Middle Eastern wars?

    Why should the US go to war with 1.6 billion Muslims to protect 14 million Jews?

    Why can people criticize the Pope or Freemasons, but anyone who attacks the Jews are called trolls, bots, shills, spammers, nutjobs, or racists and are censored, banned, get IRS audits, are arrested, or killed?

    Think.

  2. God your terrible. I’ve re-read this several times to look for some redeeming aspect but there isnt anything of substance at all. Correct yourself fool.

  3. I mean really you are quite foolish. Generalized statements against people that enjoy certain media, whiny trendy band wagon outrage over alleged events. I’m very surprised you’ve made it as a writer at all.

  4. I can understand someone not caring for his films, or for him as a person, but, shit, kid, you haven’t even bothered to watch any of his stuff. Please stop pretending to have an opinion on things you’ve never seen, and stop labelling him an “anti-Semite” based solely on something your mentally unwell friend said to you during a fit of mania. He’s nothing of the sort.

  5. I don’t understand the point of this article…If you have a problem with the personal life and actions of the director then say that. To criticize his films after admitting that you’ve never seen a complete one (7 min of Antichrist and 5 min of Melancholia!?) is absolutely absurd. And then this comment:
    “If you like his movies, you’re stupid and you probably hate Jews and women, so fuck you.”
    Spoken like a 12 year old. I love his work and I don’t hate women or Jews (or anyone for that matter). What I do hate is pompous shitty writing with the sole purpose of showing how great of a social warrior you are – and passing it off as journalism

  6. His films are interesting and well made but often painful to watch. Europa is a fascinating film and Melancholia was quite good. Emily Watson was absolutely stunning in Breaking the Waves although I haven’t been able to sit through all her suffering.

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