To think, all this time we thought Lars von Trier’s antisocial tendencies simply stemmed from a love of controversy and/or watching actresses suffer. But, as von Trier told the Danish newspaper Politiken last week, apparently his last couple decades of misogynistic misery porn were produced under the influence of drugs and alcohol, a problem that von Trier has been addressing in rehab and by attending Alcoholics Anonymous. Now clean and sober, he doesn’t think he can make movies anymore, but his ability to sound like an asshole in interviews remains intact.
In the interview, his first since that Nazi kerfuffle at Cannes back in 2011, Von Trier revealed that nearly all of his past works have been fueled by heavy drug and alcohol use, claiming he used to drink a bottle of vodka every day in order to feel creative. Expressing concerns that all his sober mind could produce were “shitty films,” he said that Nymphomaniac, his first film after going to rehab, took him 18 months to write while the script for Dogville was finished during a 12-day drug binge. “I don’t know if I can make any more films, and that worries me,” he said.
“There is no creative expression of artistic value that has ever been produced by ex-drunkards and ex-drug addicts,” he added. “Who the hell would bother with a Rolling Stones without booze or with a Jimi Hendrix without heroin?,” a comment that will surely be well received by Nymphomaniac co-star and outspoken ex-addict Christian Slater.