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Lars von Trier, the acclaimed, controversial Danish director of Dancer in the Dark, Dogville and Melancholia, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 66.
Von Trier’s production company Zentropa confirmed news reports on Monday that the director had been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder, but said he was “in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms.”
In a press release, Zentropa said von Trier would complete postproduction on The Kingdom Exodus, the third and final season of his horror melodrama TV series, which will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31. Art house streaming platform MUBI has picked up The Kingdom Exodus for North America.
Zentropa, however, said von Trier will only do limited press work for the project. Von Trier already has been press-shy since a notorious press conference for Melancholia in Cannes in 2011, when the director jokingly said that he “sympathized” with Adolf Hitler, a quip that got von Trier banned from Cannes for seven years and led to a police investigation for alleged “trivialization of the Holocaust,” a crime in France. The investigation was dropped without von Trier being charged.
The director shot the first two seasons of The Kingdom in 1994 and 1997. The series is a combination of hospital melodrama and grotesque horror, which follows the staff and patients of a cutting-edge but haunted hospital in Copenhagen. The Kingdom Exodus, season three of the series, features an all-star Scandinavian cast that includes Mikael Persbrandt, Lars Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Tuva Novotny, with Alexander Skarsgård and David Dencik guest-starring.
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