Von Trier’s HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT Leads To Over 100 Walkouts, Standing Ovation

The House That Jack Built Lars Von Trier Matt Dillon

Danish director Lars von Trier’s work has been known to sharply divide audience opinions and his latest film, The House That Jack Built, did exactly that when it premiered at Cannes yesterday. Screening out of competition, the film, about a serial killer played by Matt Dillon, saw walkouts that numbered anywhere between 100 and half of the 2,400-seat Grand Théâtre Lumière audience depending on estimates. Those who did stay gave the film a ten-minute standing ovation.

The House That Jack Built was a hot ticket among festival attendees given that it was the director’s first appearance at Cannes since his infamous 2011 statement at the festival, allegedly in jest, that he identified as a Nazi. This lead Cannes’s officials to ban von Trier from the festival for one year.

The film comes to Cannes after a reportedly rocky production last year. Von Tier himself stated that he was “full of anxieties and alcohol” while shooting commenced in Denmark and Sweden. Also, in December of last year, nine women put forth allegations that they were subjected to sexual harassment and bullying while working for von Trier’s production company Zentropa. Many of these accusations were aimed at House That Jack Built producer and Zentropa co-founder Peter Aalbæk Jensen. The Danish Working Environment Authority investigated but concluded that there were enough changes made to the company culture to allow them to continue operations.

The House That Jack Built, which co-stars Riley Keough and Uma Thurman, is set for a US release later this fall.

Many critics and attendees took to social media to express their feelings about the film –

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About Rich Drees 7034 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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