I always just assumed his tattoo was a self-reminder to masturbate, much like how you might tack a sticky note saying "pay the gas bill" to the bathroom mirror.

Apparently Von Trier has realized a) that he’s not so hot at verbally digging himself out of a hole, and b) a frenzied media is more than happy to give you a gas-powered shovel to help you out. Now that police in Denmark are knocking on his door and the French city of Grasse has decided to keep kicking this hornets nest, he’s decided to shut his mouth for good. Today he released a statement via Empire in which he admits to being unable to express his more controversial ideas clearly, and will simply stop making public statements of any kind. Von Trier is going Wachowski (the no press part, not the sex change part).

“Today at 2pm I was questioned by the Police of North Zealand in connection with charges made by the prosecution of Grasse in France from August 2011 regarding a possible violation of prohibition in French law against justification of war crimes.”

“The investigation covers comments made during the press conference in Cannes in May 2011. Due to these serious accusations I have realized that I do not possess the skills to express myself unequivocally and I have therefore decided from this day forth to refrain from all public statements and interviews.”

Lars von Trier

Avedøre, 5. October 2011

You’ll remember that during a Melancholia press event at Cannes, Von Trier stumbled his way into a clumsy point about Hitler and being capable of empathizing with his emotions, as well as being able to appreciate art generated by people promoting evil causes. Cue the shit storm. Now many months later it turns out the French have not forgotten, and the director is actually being charged for violating a statute that makes it a crime to publicly justify war crimes.

Mel Gibson would be fucked in France.

I can’t imagine much coming from this. Either Von Trier sticks to his word and becomes another secluded filmmaker, or he’ll just be more discriminating about doing the hail of press that usually follows a films release. Frankly, it’s as hard to imagine him keeping his trap shut as actually going to jail for such a thing.

You got opinions? Tweet them at me or drop them in the comments and I promise no one will charge you as a criminal for them.