Danish director Von Trier getting used to life with Parkinson’s

VENICE (Reuters) – Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier said on Thursday he was feeling well after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but acknowledged it would take time to get used to the tremors brought on by the ailment.

    The 66-year-old director’s new supernatural TV series “The Kingdom Exodus” is screening at the Venice Film Festival. While his cast travelled to the canal city to promote the project, von Trier spoke to reporters via Zoom.

    His production company announced last month that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s – a degenerative brain disorder that causes difficulty with walking, balance and coordination.

    “I think I’m doing good, but the shaking will take some time to fight,” von Trier said. “But (I feel) a little bit more stupid than I used to be, so that says a lot.”

“The Kingdom Exodus” is the third and final instalment in von Trier’s cult TV show “The Kingdom” that was launched in the 1990s.

    “What I didn’t know was that I was already ill when we started filming with this Parkinson’s that I’ve got and I had a rotten time, but I hope the actors didn’t notice,” he said.

    “The Kingdom Exodus”, which premieres at Venice as a five-hour film, will be launched in five episodes on Viaplay’s platform and Danish broadcaster DR later this year.

“I didn’t sit down and watch all the old ones. I think, I was trying to get rid of the ties from the old stuff and I only thought about the characters.”

    Von Trier’s other works include sexually graphic films such as “Antichrist” and “Nymphomaniac”, and the harrowing melodrama “Dancer in the Dark”, starring Icelandic singer Bjork, for which he won the Golden Palm for best movie at Cannes in 2000.

In 2011, he was banned from Cannes for remarks about Adolf Hitler that many deemed offensive. He later said he was a recovering alcoholic and drug user. He was allowed to return to the Cannes festival in 2018.

(Reporting by Hanna Rantala, Editing by Crispian Balmer and Andrew Heavens)

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