Archive for May 24th, 2009

May 24, 2009



First of all, forget all about this nonsense the press in Cannes has created around Lars von Trier’s newest film. “Love it or hate it”? Not really. I neither loved it nor hated it, I’m more in between, and I humbly say I haven’t truly understood this film, not deep within. But since the director himself has said he doesn’t comprehend some of the images he created, I suppose it’s not a problem… Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a woman, Willem Dafoe, a man. They’re married and now grieve the death of their little boy, although they react differently to the tragedy. The woman can’t accept the lost and sinks into depression whereas the man assists her during her suffering, trying to “cure” her through therapy. As she confesses that the woods is the place she fears the most, feeling powerless and exposed there, they move to their cabin Eden located in the woods, a place in the middle of nowhere. Here her treatment will continue, but not exactly in a progressive manner.
In many of his previous films, Lars von Trier presented women as suffering characters, victims of a man’s world. Fragile in the surface, nevertheless strong deep within. Somehow it always made me see him as a feminist, but in Antichrist, things aren’t quite the same, as he resurrected old religious tabus against the female sex. Perhaps it has nothing to do with the film’s purpose, however it’s impossible to be indifferent to certain lines. What else could justify the insane behaviour of the female in the film’s final moments than a line such as “women have no control over their own bodies”?
The film is neither a thriller nor a horror, and I’d like to believe a certain scene envolving a talking wolf was made as a joke, as I laughed so hard that I almost cried… The images are nevertheless beautifully haunting, especially the ones in the woods, which evoque a dreamlike atmosphere. The forest is so tangible that it becomes a third character, and the gorgeous soundtrack is hypnotic. There are moments of roughess, including a self-mutilation, but I just had to close my eyes for a second. I suppose only moralists would feel disturbed by anything else, and honestly, I don’t know what’s all the fuzz surrounding Antichrist.

Photos found here.