Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

'Vomitive. Pathetic': Lars Von Trier film prompts mass walkouts at Cannes

'Vomitive. Pathetic': Lars Von Trier film prompts mass walkouts at Cannes

Lars von Trier has never shied away from controversy, and his new film certainly delivered it: The House That Jack Built earned the highest level of ire and disgust seen at Cannes Film Festival this year.

The movie features actors Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Riley Keough, and Jeremy Davies. And again, he has brewed up another storm as 100 members of the audience walked out of the movie screening at Grand Théâtre Lumière "disgusted" by what they had witnessed. "It's disgusting", one woman said on her way out. "So they are expressed instead through our art". His "persona non grata" from the Melancholia press conference back in 2011 has been well reported, but he's been let back in with his new film The House That Jack Built, even though it screens out of competition at this year's festival.

@OscarPredictor wrote, "Just left Lars Von Trier's The House that Jack Built".

The House That Jack Built is a slasher movie that depicts a serial killer's quest to find art within murder, which you can already guess is going to lead to plenty of gross-out scenes. According to an interview with the director, The House That Jack Built is supposed to draw parallels to the current political situation in the U.S. - particularly the rise of the new Republican president. The film follows Jack's development as a murderer, following him through five important killings and providing glimpses into his troubling coming-of-age experience. After the director stated that the film would be his "most violent yet", it seemed he made good on his promise as the first trailer of the film did little to calm the nerves of audience members.

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Likewise, other critics went onto note that the film - which graphically portrays the mutilation of women and children - felt "like a suicide note,", along with being deemed by The Guardian as "pretentious" and "pathetic".

We learn very early on that Jack has committed at least 60 murders. The House That Jack Built is an uncompromising, barbaric, distressing watch, and one very hard to stomach.

Despite the fact that the final and inevitable police intervention is drawing ever near (which both provokes and puts pressure on Jack) he is - contrary to all logic - set on taking greater and greater chances.

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