Lars von Trier’s films have been created in a state of intoxication. While
writing his manuscripts he has put himself in a special state by drinking a
bottle of vodka a day and taking ‘a drug’, he says, saying that this has
been his way of entering a ‘parallel world’ – a special state in which ideas
Now that he’s sober, Lars von Trier’s afraid that he has run dry as an artist
and can only make ‘shitty films’.
“I don’t know if I can make more films, and that worries me,” the director
says in his first interview since he muzzled himself following the
controversy following the scandalous press meeting in Cannes in 2011, in
which he said he understood Adolf Hitler.
Man vs. The Director
He is in a state in which he is choosing between Lars Trier the man and Lars
von Trier the director – and, as he says, ‘Lars Trier has prime place’ right
now. Now, it’s just a question of staying alive by avoiding intoxicants. As
a result he doesn’t believe that he is able to continue to maintain the
artistic level that he demands of his films.
Or, as he says: “There is no creative expression of artistic value that has
ever been produced by ex-drunkards and ex-drug addicts.”
Obviously, the parallel world has its price, but I got an enormous amount out
of it. Just like all the artists I have respected the most
Lars Von Trier
The manuscript for his ‘Dogville’ film was written during a 12-day high. His
latest film ‘Nymphomaniac’ is the only one that has been written while sober
– and it took him 18 months.
Kilde: politiken.tv/ interterview: Nils Thorsen, production Peter Vintergaard
Sober for 90 days
But sunday Trier has been sober for 90 days, and has been to his Alcoholics
Anonymous meeting every day. And although he doesn’t recommend alcohol or
drugs to anyone, he does not regret having used them in his creative
“Obviously, the parallel world has its price, but I got an enormous amount out
of it. Just like all the artists I have respected the most. They have also
wallowed in all sorts of mind-expanding drugs,” von Trier says. While he
says that his long silence has been a relief, he now feels the need to speak
out in various fora.
“I have reached an age,” he says, “at which one would like to hand something
As far as his film Nymphomaniac is concerned, von Trier has not previously
said anything about it in public. He now says that the five-and-a-half hour,
highly erotic film was not meant to be a study in female sexuality, but
rather a tease for Zentropa Director Peter Aalbæk, and a wish to make a film
with a lot of digressions into the things in life that he loves most.