Filmmaker and professional provocateur Lars von Trier is back in Cannes, showing his latest movie, The House That Jack Built. In his grand return to the festival, the Danish director has stirred some major controversy through his art. Dozens of people walked out of his film’s premiere, disgusted by the imagery.
According to Variety, the first screening of The House That Jack Built prompted over 100 walkouts at the film festival. Viewers muttered words of disgust as they left the premises. The film follows Jack (Matt Dillon), a highly intelligent serial killer who focuses on women, for 12 years. The rest of the cast includes Uma Thurman, Downfall actor Bruno Ganz and American Honey star Riley Keough.
The imagery of the film has been called violent to the extreme. The most talked-about scene was one depicting child murder, which is where most walkouts occurred. Still, those who stayed longer were shocked by a sequence involving breasts. Vulture here recounts the most gruesome scenes in The House That Jack Built, for those with a curious mind.
Still, those who remained until the end gave the film a standing ovation once the credits started rolling. It was, after all, the comeback of a Cannes sweetheart after a near-decade absence.
It’s been seven years since von Trier infamously called himself a Nazi and joked that he “sympathized” with Hitler. This happened when Melancholia was competing in the 2011 edition of the festival. While the director apologized profusely at the time, he was deemed persona non grata at Cannes since.
The decision was overturned earlier this year, when The House That Jack Built was announced in the festival’s out-of-competition roster. The decision was met with raised eyebrows, particularly after singer-actress Björk accused von Trier of sexual harassment. For many, bringing back the Dancer in the Dark filmmaker seemed like a mishap in the age of Time’s Up.
There’s no official U.S. release date for The House That Jack Built. However, the film will be released on von Trier’s natal Denmark on November 29.