CANNES, France - Danish director Lars Von Trier's comments on Wednesday at a press conference in Cannes at which he jokingly declared himself a Nazi caused consternation at the film festival and offense among Jewish groups.
The Danish maverick is at the annual film festival with his competition film "Melancholia", a grand cinematic statement on life, death and the universe which wowed a packed audience at a press screening in the giant Grand Theatre Lumiere.
But his provocative comments, apparently made in jest, threatened to overshadow the triumph many journalists and critics felt his movie to be.
The Hollywood Reporter's headline was "Lars Von Trier Admits to Being a Nazi, Understanding Hitler", adding that the 55-year-old had "pulled a Mel Gibson" in reference to the latter's anti-Semitic slurs in 2006 that harmed his reputation.
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