Oscar-nominated, Cannes Palme d’Or winning Danish director Lars von Trier has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Trier’s long-time producer Louise Vesth at Zentropa Entertainment put out a statement on Monday announcing the diagnosis with the director’s blessing.
“In agreement with Lars von Trier, we want to inform you that Lars was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease just before the summer holidays,” read the statement.
She said Trier would continue to work on his upcoming series The Kingdom Exodus, the third and final instalment of his rebooted 1990s cult supernatural TV show The Kingdom which is due to world premiere at Venice at the end of August.
“In order to avoid any speculation about his health leading up to the premiere, Zentropa has sent out this short statement to the Danish press.
“Lars is in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms and the work to complete The Kingdom Exodus continues as planned.”
She added that as a result of his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Trier would do very little press for the launch of the show.
“The illness means that Lars will only take part in interviews to a very limited extent,” she said. “Thank you for your understanding in this matter. There are no further comments.”
Trier is Denmark’s most feted and controversial contemporary director.
He has been a Cannes regular for nearly four decades, showing nine films in competition kicking off with The Element Of Crime (1984), Jury Prize winner Europa (1991), Jury Prize winner Breaking The Waves (1996); The Idiots (1998), Palme d’Or winner Dancer In The Dark (2000), Dogville (2003), Manderlay (2005), Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011).
The music for Dancer In The Dark was Oscar-nominated for the 2001 Oscars, with Trier sharing a nomination with lead actress Bjork and Sjon.
The filmmaker’s relationship with Cannes came to an abrupt halt in 2011 when he made provocative comments in the press conference for Melancholia, declaring “I’m a Nazi’ and that he understood Hitler. This led to him being banned from the festival for nearly a decade.
He was welcomed back in 2018 for the world premiere of The House That Jack Built Out of Competition.
Beyond his personal filmography, the influence of Zentropa, which Trier created with Peter Aalbæk Jensen in 1992, can be seen throughout contemporary Danish cinema thanks to its Dogma 95 manifesto as well as the more than 200 features it has produced to date.
Trier’s highly anticipated The Kingdom Exodus will launch at home this fall on Viaplay’s platform and will then get its TV premiere on the Danish broadcast service DR.