If you’re familiar with Lars von Trier’s body of work, (Antichrist, Dogville, Melancholia) you’ll know that the Danish director is persona non grata at the Cannes Film Festival, and earlier today, that reputation reached legendary status.
This morning, on the eve of its Cannes premiere, IFC Films unleashed the first trailer for The House That Jack Built, the latest foray into madness from von Trier, which stars Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon as a serial killer who “views each of his murders as a work of art.”
Now, in news that I cannot say surprised me, we’re hearing that the screening apparently did not go over well. Even with tickets including a “scènes violentes” (“explicit violence”) warning, “hundreds” allegedly walked out of the theater. Described as “disgusting” and “one of the most unpleasant movie-going experiences of my life,” the 2,400-seat Grand Théâtre Lumière saw a “notable segment” of the audience depart early, with Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh reporting that 100 guests exited in protest.
Over on social media, that number grew, with an estimated half of the audience heading for the doors prematurely. You can check out a few Twitter reactions below.
I’ve never seen anything like this at a film festival. 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. #Cannes2018 pic.twitter.com/GsBGCoyHEG
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) May 14, 2018
Talked to someone who walked out of the Lars von Trier film at Cannes: "He mutilates Riley Keough, he mutilates children… and we are all there in formal dress expected to watch it?"
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 14, 2018
Walked out on LarsvonTrier . Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors culpable
— Showbiz 411 (@showbiz411) May 14, 2018
Just left Lars Von Trier's The House that Jack Built.
Gross. Pretentious. Vomitive. Torturous. Pathetic. #Cannes2018
— The Oscar Predictor (@OscarPredictor) May 14, 2018
why can’t Lars von Trier just make a normal fcking movie for once. pushing limits is one thing but he’s just a complete sadist expressing his narcissism and contempt for the world through his art.
— Luke (@lmaldarella) May 14, 2018
— Charlie Angela (@CharlieAJ) May 14, 2018
Nonetheless, those who remained in their seats until the very end met von Trier with a “10-minute standing ovation,” similar to that received by Spike Lee earlier in the day for his film, BlackKklansman.
The House That Jack Built, which supposedly sees Dillon mutilate actress Riley Keough and even a few children, screened out of competition – though it’s believed to have been the “day’s major festival draw.” And after reading these reactions, quite honestly, I’ve never been more determined to see a movie in my entire life.