I have been scolded -on numerous occasions- for liking Lars Von Trier. This is, of course, because he's perhaps the most petulant of provocateurs, the type of character who doesn't know when to shut his mouth, who makes films that are challenging in part because they're often painful to watch, and who seems to love shock value for the derision it inspires. Believe me, I get it. Liking Von Trier isn't something easily dismissed with a "well, he's not for everybody," and I find that the place I get the most flack for my fascination with the director is, weirdly, in academic confines. This may be solely because he's discussed more there than anywhere else (telling), but I've found, repeatedly, that the most brilliant of people tend to bristle at the mention of his name for any number of reasons. There are those who hate shock for the sake of shock (sure, he does it, but the purpose is arguable), there are those who immediately spit back a regurgitated mention of how heavily misogynistic his films are (a point I actively disagree with), there are those who hold on to how utterly pretentious the Dogme 95 movement was. Their reasons are many, and from them I have learned this: it may be hard to be Lars Von Trier, but in some ways it's perhaps just as difficult to be someone captivated by his work.