THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
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
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…