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cannes 2011

Lars Von Trier Insists That He Is ‘Definitely Not Mel Gibson’

"If any of you would like to hit me, you're perfectly welcome," Lars von Trier told journalists shortly after being banned from the Cannes Film Festival today. "I must warn you that I might enjoy it." Needless to say, von Trier sounded positively playful about the controversy that had erupted from his Nazi jokes at the Melancholia press conference, declaring, "I'm very proud of being persona non grata. I've never been that before in my life, and that suits me extremely well." Still, despite his glee in riling feathers, von Trier would like to make clear that he had no actual anti-Semitic intent when he made those comments: "I'm known for provocations, but I like provocations when they have a purpose. And this had no purpose whatsoever. Because I'm not Mel Gibson. I'm definitely not Mel Gibson." [Time Out Chicago via Movieline]

Photo: Francois Durand/Getty Images