Could Lars von Trier's filmmaking career be over? Earlier this year, the director was hospitalized for depression, and he is still suffering from it -- enough that it is affecting his work. He told the newspaper Politiken that he can't make a film while he's so depressed, and he's unsure if he will be able to start work on his next project, the horror film Antichrist, as planned. He didn't exactly say that he'd never make another film, but he does seem pretty worried. He told the paper that normally he is thinking about at least three projects in his head at one time, but right now he can't even focus on one. According to the award-winning filmmaker, depression has left him, "like a blank sheet of paper."
While this might be good news for some people, it has me terribly upset. Von Trier may not be the most appealing filmmaker, but at least he keeps things interesting. He really needs to keep working, if only to finish the "America the Beautiful" trilogy, which so far consists of Dogville and Manderlay and is supposed to end with a film called Wasington. I have to say that I'm actually surprised that anything, even depression, could bring von Trier away from making films. After all, this is the man who said that film should be like a rock in your shoe. I think that he meant this for himself as much as for the audience, because he always seems to be challenging himself with each new project. I would have thought that depression could actually drive his work in the way that it has motivated other artists throughout history. But if not, I really hope that he gets well soon. Von Trier's latest film, The Boss of it All, is scheduled to open in the U.S. next week.