11/10/2011 07:04 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Lars Von Trier: 15 Classic Quotes From The Master Of Bleakness

Danish auteurs say the darndest things!

An arthouse favorite since the mid 1980s, the celebrated experimental director Lars von Trier is known primarily for his stunningly bleak and controversial films -- "Dancer in the Dark," "Dogville," "Breaking the Waves," "Antichrist," the recent "Melancholia" (opening in limited release Friday) among them. But along the way he also picked up a reputation as something of an unpredictable interview subject, to say the least.

Not one to shy away from an opinion of himself or the world, Von Trier came under fire at a Cannes Film Festival press conference this year for claiming -- in his typically offhand, sardonic way -- to "understand" and "sympathize" with Adolf Hitler. These statements got him declared a "persona non grata" by Cannes authorities, meaning he is banned from the festival from here on out.

Though he told multiple news outlets he was joking around, he announced in October that he would refrain from giving interviews and press conferences "from this day forth" since he does not possess the skills to express himself "unequivocally."

This would be an unfortunate thing for the world (and his fans). Because for all of the controversy, von Trier remains one of the more entertaining and fascinating interview subjects of all time.

Below, enjoy a collection of some of his phenomenally unpredictable quotes from the last decade: