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For your information: here are excerpts from an interview by Christian
Braad Thomsen, Danish film director and author, published with the
production/promotion notes of BREAKING THE WAVES.
 
In this interview Lars von Trier says among other things:
 
"My family doesn't like BREAKING THE WAVES very much; my brother phoned m=
e
yesterday to say that he found it even more repellent the second time he
saw it. But I think the film is precisely a reaction to the taste that
prevailed in my childhood, where sentimentality was completely banned. Th=
e
values I promote in BREAKING THE WAVES are in total opposition to those I
acquired in childhood.
[ One sentence abolished] --my family were atheists of almost religious
conviction, so everything the film contains by way of religiosity and cor=
ny
effects, I have always learned to avoid. There was no reason to expose
things as shamelessly as I do int he film, where the lines are the cornie=
st
you'll get, every time..."
 
Thomsen: I wouldn't say so.
 
von Trier: "Oh, but they are. The leading character says on her deathbed,
"Mother I am sorry that I could not be good". Now, that is atrocious. And
she says "Sorry" just before she dies. I mean, for goodness' sake, they
couldn't be worse!"
 
Thomsen: But what has steered you towards  the more direct mode of
emotional expression you are now working in?
 
von Trier: "It comes from Catholicism. I was christened a few years ago a=
t
the same time as my daughter - not that it has made me a good Catholic, y=
ou
definitely can't call me that, and what's more I'm recently divorced. But
in a way, religion and the miracle have been part of my films from the ve=
ry
beginning. They all end up in some kind of redemption or from God's point
of view.--"
--
Thomsen: Do you think you turned Catholic as a reaction to your childhood=
?
 
von Trier: "Well, yes, I suppose so. Religion was totally forbidden, and =
it
has always interested me."
--
Thomsen: But one may be na=EFve without being religious, and religious
without being na=EFve.
 
von Trier: "Oh, absolutely. but to me, religion is a quest for the
childhood I never had [talks about a fairy tale GOLDEN HEART which inspir=
ed
BREAKING THE WAVES]--On the other hand, the film was not only inspired by=
 a
fairy tale for children, but also by Marquis de Sade's JUSTINE, which I h=
ad
been planning to film for years.--
In BREAKING THE WAVES I try to take a martyr seriously - and so of course
my family reacts against the film. I set out to make a melodrama with a
woman as the leading character, as Dreyer did. And it was to include a re=
al
miracle, one which would be believable" [in the context of the film, he
adds later].
 
End of excerpts.
--------
So what do you make of it? That l'enfant terrible of Danish cinema goes
anal? Even if and because of parents told not to?
 
Antti Selkokari
film critic for a Finnish daily Aamulehti
 
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