Von Trier doubtful about future in film


COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Director Lars Von Trier said a period of depression has left him unable to work and he has doubts about when he will return to filmmaking.

In an interview published Saturday in the Politiken newspaper, Von Trier said the aftermath of his depression has left him "like a blank sheet of paper."

"It's very strange for me, because I've always had at least three projects in my head at one time," he said.

The filmmaker was admitted to a Danish hospital around the beginning of the year to be treated for depression. Since then, he said, he has lost focus and takes no pleasure in his work.

"You can't make a film and be depressed at the same time," he was quoted as saying. "They say that it can take a couple of years to recover after a depression. But let us see."

Von Trier, who has worked alongside actors such as Emily Watson in "Breaking the Waves" and Icelandic singer Bjork in "Dancer in the Dark," said his best and most original movie is "Dogville," which stars Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman.

Von Trier is also known for a set of filmmaking principles known as Dogma that he conceived in the mid-1990s. Meant to strip away the artifice of filmmaking by forbidding props and lighting, the Dogma rules also forbade sound editing and any equipment other than hand-held cameras.

Von Trier said he is unsure whether he will be able to begin work on a horror movie called "Antichrist" that he planned to start filming toward the middle of this year. The movie depicts Satan, rather than God, as the world's creator.

"I assume that 'Antichrist' will be my next movie. But right now I don't know," he said.