It had been a strange, even surreal festival marked by ecstatic visions and doomsday fantasies and nearly hijacked when the Danish director Lars von Trier, in competition with “Melancholia,” announced at the press conference for his movie — perhaps jokingly and certainly stupidly — that he was a Nazi. # (emphasis mine).
In recent years I’ve come to despise journalists with a passion. To talk about Von Trier’s half-hearted attempt at humor earlier at Cannes, and describe it as being ‘perhaps’ a joke, “but we can’t know for sure, he might be a nazi! In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the burden of proof that he’s not, is on him!”, is such utter sensationalist bullshit that it’ll clear a room in five seconds flat. There was never any question that Von Trier had simply wandered blind into a bad joke with no exit, and anyone with half a brain found his exclusion from the festival to be a laughable reactionist move.
Von Trier is a provocateur, this is what he does.
A more reasonable piece of commentary might have been:
[...] announced at the press conference for his movie, in a failed attempt at his trademark provocative humor, that he was a Nazi.
If you’re writing for one of the untold number of amateur movie blogs out there, I’d still scoff my nose and consider unsubscribing if I came across as stupid a remark as the one in this quote — because I’m a snobbish asshole like that — but when you’re writing the New York Times’ story on the grand prize for Cannes, I’d expect you to plant your innuendos more cautiously, please.