THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

Lars at­tacks…

Total Film - - Contents -

Lars von Trier’s lat­est has firm foun­da­tions for at­tract­ing con­tro­versy.

Lars von Trier’s most con­tro­ver­sial movie yet washes up on UK shores stink­ing like sewage after its world premiere at Cannes in May sparked mass walk­outs fol­lowed by vo­cif­er­ous re­views, col­umns and think-pieces, most of which con­tained the words “pre­ten­tious”, “misog­y­nis­tic” and “fas­cist”.

The truth is rather more com­pli­cated, with von Trier again col­laps­ing ex­ploita­tion and art­house cin­ema, as ar­chi­tect Jack (Matt Dil­lon) tells Verge (Bruno Ganz) of his love of Euro­pean art, his ob­ses­sion with Hitler and the 60-plus kills he’s re­spon­si­ble for: mainly women but also kids, their corpses ar­ranged into grisly tableaux in a walk-in freezer. Verge ques­tions Jack on his ac­tions and rea­sons, spark­ing a long-winded di­a­logue that wends not-so-mer­rily to­wards an au­da­cious fi­nal act.

Jack is a con­fes­sion and an apol­ogy, soaked in self­dis­gust. The ques­tion is whether you be­lieve it to be sin­cere or else a case of hav­ing your sick-mak­ing cake and gob­bling it. Jamie Gra­ham

THE VER­DICT

Is von Trier aim­ing for pro­fun­dity or be­ing mock­ingly cod-philo­soph­i­cal? At once bor­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing.

matt Dil­lon’s Jack has an un­usual ap­proach to art…

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