Sunday, 1 November 2009


Beautiful and terrifying film; dreamlike and powerful; a mirror to our souls, not a slap on our faces. A flawed masterpiece.

However ghastly the vaginal mutilation and the impaling of the leg of "He" were, and they were, the real horror of "Antichrist" lays in the harrowing descent of the couple into an orgy of self-hatred and destruction, both psychological and physical, mediated by twisted power games and Hieronymus Bosch's imagery, delving at times into medieval myths. I thought that the dedication to Tarkovsky was gratuitous, as I suspect that this is not a film that the Russian would have liked to have dedicated to him. There are faults in this film; there were moments when I nearly fell asleep, on others I was busy picking up holes in the plot.

Was Von Trier suffering from acute depression when he wrote and shot this film? Probably he was, no well balanced mind would have come up with some of the imagery.

Was there a desire from Von Trier to shock us, Western viewers, frolicking into the material comfort of our lives... Perhaps "Antichrist" should have been dedicated to Haneke rather than to Tarkovsky.

The wandering hand held camera was extremely close to faces, bodies, and details of their immediate environment, involving us directly into the action, almost thrown into the midst of it; at times annoyingly so; at other times disturbingly close, when I instinctively recoiled into my seat, like seeking the embrace of its comfort, leaving a deep indent on it, feeling the spike going through "my" leg, feeling the scissors on "my" vagina (although I am not a woman), feeling the hands on "my" neck, feeling the existential horror they were going through.

There was no distance between the action and us, the viewers. The violence of this film has not been commodified; the violence of this film is not there to be consumed as entertainment; the violence of this film is contained in each of us, however deeply it may be buried under layer upon layer of social constraints and culture. This is a powerful film that moves between the reality of a disintegrating social micro-cosmos  and the world of dreams and myths, brutal at moments, but dreamlike. It lingers in the mind long after having watched it. I strongly recommend it (I'll get the DVD when it comes out).

Could this film be a cinematic essay on the inherent emptiness of the capitalist "Utopia"?

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