Von Trier takes Palme D'Or but prize-winning
Bjork says this is "first and last" film role
wouldn't be Cannes if there wasn't some controversy surrounding the
Palme D'Or winner. Last year it was the downbeat Rosetta
that had critics divided, this year Danish director Lars von Trier (Breaking
the Waves, The Idiots) split opinions with his winning film Dancer in
the Dark, an unusual musical with, again, an unhappy theme and a shattering
Icelandic pop star Bjork took the Best Actress Award for her gusty starring
role as a US Czech immigrant going blind who is trying to pay for an
operation to save her son's sight. However, the honours threatened to
be overshadowed by the rift between actor and director.
Von Trier (pictured above), a founder of the ultra low budget Dogme
school of filmmaking, is well known for his demanding methods. This
includes strict method acting. It was apparently too much for Bjork
who at one point on set, von Trier said, started eating her costume.
Only two weeks before the festival von Trier (now famously) called Bjork
a "mad woman" (surely not the first to?) and relations have
been reportedly frosty throughout the festival.
The rift seemed on the mend when the pair arrived together at the ceremony
and von Trier held out an olive branch to Bjork in his speech saying,
"Though I know she doesn't believe me, if you meet her, tell her I love
her very much."
However, the depth of Bjork's unhappy experience was clearly evident
after the ceremony when she declared that this would be her "first
and last" film role and she was going to devote her energy to making
Elsewhere, there were no awards for British
films although Ken Loach's Bread and Roses was well received and Dancer,
a sentimental tear-jerker about a miner's son from Durham who becomes
a ballet dancer, was a big hit with the punters and came runner-up to
US Girlfight, about women's boxing, in the audience award.
prizewinners on the night (photographs)
Divorce Iranian Style
interview (August 98)
The ultra low-budget, Dogme style of filmmaking