Reuters discovers that it's business as usual on the Riviera:
The dark underside of the United States has taken centre stage in several films at Cannes this year, capped on Monday with a scathing attack of past and present racism in America by Danish director Lars von Trier. "Manderlay", about a fictional Alabama plantation where people are living in 1933 as if slavery were never abolished, staggered festival-goers with a disturbing portrayal of America that fails, even today, to come to terms with its racist past.
There are a number of other films that examine dark and depressing aspects of the United States and "American Dream" losers, filled with violence, drugs and alcohol abuse. They were made by directors from the United States, Canada and Europe . . .
Von Trier, whose fear of flying has prevented him from visiting the United States, won thunderous cheers at the world premiere and a news conference, where he said he enjoyed bashing America on screen because it invades his life even in Denmark.
"We are all under the influence - and it's a very bad influence - from America," said the 49-year-old Dane. "In my country everything has to do with America. America is kind of sitting on the world. America has to do with 60 percent of my brain and all things I experience in my life, and I'm not happy about that," von Trier said. I'd say 60 percent of my life is American so I am in fact an 'American' too. But I can't go there and vote or change anything there. That is why I make films about America."
There's maybe a hint of impish sub-editor humour in the heading over the next paragraph: "Von Trier Waiting For Anti-Danish Film". Apparently he'd be more than happy to sit through a movie attacking his own country.
He may have a long wait. My contacts tell me that Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford and all the other A-listers are fully booked at the moment. Perhaps someone could knock together a script showing Hans Christian Andersen as a heroin addict. Or Rin Tin Tin as a cat molestor. (No, hold on, he was an Alsatian, not a Great Dane)
I've got it...A remake of Babette's Feast where the cook is a bulimic and everyone dies of food-poisoning. We could get Nigella to do the book tie-in. Perfect.