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'Antichrist' director Lars von Trier diagnosed with Parkinson's disease

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Director Lars von Trier has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and will be scaling back his press tour for the upcoming third season of his series "The Kingdom." File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/479bcbf7aa79bfb960445755adadbfb4/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Director Lars von Trier has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and will be scaling back his press tour for the upcoming third season of his series "The Kingdom." File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Controversial director Lars von Trier has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, his representatives said Monday.

A statement from von Trier's self-founded production company, Zentropa, confirmed the 66-year-old's diagnosis, but said that von Trier was "in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms."

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The native of Kongens Lyngby, Denmark, is currently producing the third season of his critically acclaimed thriller series The Kingdom.

Season 3 is set to premiere at the upcoming Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31, and while von Trier will be able to complete post-production, Zentropa said that he will be scaling back on the press tour.

"The illness means that Lars will only take part in interviews to a limited extent until the premiere later in the year," the production company said.

Subtitled as The Kingdom Exodus, Season 3 will finally conclude von Trier's series, which centers around mysterious happenings at a Copenhagen neurosurgical hospital. The first two seasons premiered in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

While the series has received critical acclaim in Denmark, von Trier has seen controversies surrounding his work, particularly on the international stage.

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His films are known for often containing heavy violence and sexually explicit content, and have earned the director both widespread accolades as well as condemnation.

Particular scrutiny has been placed around what von Trier unofficially calls his "Depression Trilogy."

The first film in the series, Antichrist, controversially saw its lead actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg, receive the Best Actress award at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

Despite the outrage, Gainsbourg said in an interview at the time that "I'd never read a script like that before... the material was so rich that it was very exciting."

"[Von Trier] was very respectful of all the actors and all the porn actors, too. It was all happening in good spirit," she said, adding that, despite the film's graphic sexual nature, she never intended to shoot any of those scenes herself.

The second and third films in the trilogy, Melancholia and Nymphomaniac, were not viewed as harshly, though they too generated controversy for their similarly explicit content.

Von Trier's onscreen projects are not the only time that the actor has generated anger.

Even with confirmation that his press run will be scaled back due to Parkinson's disease, this would likely be the case anyway -- von Trier has became notably camera shy following an incident at a 2011 press conference in which he jokingly "sympathized" with Adolf Hitler.

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The comment would lead to von Trier being banned from the Cannes Film Festival for seven years, and went as far as launching a police investigation in France.

Season 3 of The Kingdom will be available to stream on the streaming platform MUBI in the U.S. following a Danish release.

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