Antichrist: A Work of Genius or the Sickest Film in History
Truth is stranger than fiction they say. But I say movies are stranger than truth. Some of the movies just take it over the top and some really hit the ground hard. I could not make out which category does "Antichrist" fit into.
Some might label it to be extremely explicit, graphic and exaggerated. While some might say it is a piece of genius by the man behind the story and the camera.
With its explicit sex and scene of female genital mutilation, Lars von Trier's Antichrist scandalised Cannes this year. Samantha Morton, Gillian Wearing and other women artists and academics give their opinion of the Danish director's provocative new film
The opening title arrives as a provocation, a mission statement. "Lars von Trier," it reads. "Antichrist." At the Cannes film festival, where the film was unveiled in May, the audience responded with indulgent laughter.
Over the years the international press has grown accustomed to the antics of the puckish Dane. This, after all, is the man who once dumped his festival prize in a dustbin, who dragged Nicole Kidman through the wringer in Dogville and provoked hoots of outrage when he won the Palme d'Or for his death row musical, Dancer In The Dark. And yet nothing – but nothing – could prepare us for the film that followed.
Antichrist opens, simultaneously, with a blaze of unsimulated sex and the death (simulated, one hopes) of a child, who topples from an upstairs window and cannons into the snow below. Bedevilled by guilt, his unnamed parents – He (Willem Dafoe) and She (Charlotte Gainsbourg) – retreat to a cabin in the woods called Eden. There, matters go from bad to worse.
Oppressive Defoe winds up hobbled and impotent, while Gainsbourg runs clean off the rails and starts hacking at her own genitals with a pair of scissors. Sitting in the dark of the Cannes Palais, the audience yelped and howled and covered their eyes. Legend has it that at least four viewers fainted dead away in their seats.
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