Friday, 27 November 2009

Antichrist: Part Deux

Previously: Part Une

Sometimes it seems that some films are just begging you to hate them. It’s not the typical horror of Blades of Glory or I Love You, Beth Cooper hatred. No one would anticipate those two horrors to be anything but. It’s when you watch a film that not exactly disappoints, but leaves you unmoved even though there are moments – fleeting perhaps – that make you sad it’s so horrible. It’s so with Antichrist for me. I didn’t plan on disliking Von Triers’ latest release. I’m no fan of his, but there’s no active dislike. What turns this movie into a conundrum is that there are scenes, like that ethereal opening that thwart your complete hatred. But even that sole scene, as beautiful as it is, seems so indulgent. Or that walk Gainsbourg has in the woods. Beautifully done – but not all too necessary. Or is it?
It’s silly things like the fact that Willem and Charlotte seem to be a poorly matched couple. And even sillier things like the fact that their accents don’t match. Obviously people have married with differing accents, but it’s even the smallest things like that. And you wonder, is that Von Triers’ intent? It would be too supercilious to lodge the complaint of him being gratuitous – for at the end of the day, what is gratuity? But you can’t shake that gimmicky feeling. Like that wordless first scene I referred to earlier with the now controversial shot of the penis in the shower. What exactly does that add to the tone of the film? It’s all about the director’s preference of course, but would Antichrist have been any worst of without those three seconds?
You can almost see Von Triers’ menacing visage imprinted on screen laughing at us all. The way that his titled in superimposed on the screen is definitely macabre and almost ridiculous. Filmmaking is all subjective when it comes down to the nitty gritty, but I haven’t changed my initial reaction. Certainly, I’ve let it mull over for  a day. I still don’t like it. That’s that.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes something that is beautiful isn't aesthetically pleasing. A nuclear bomb and all it represents is horrific (more horrific than this film) but, the visual mushroom cloud is nothing short of beauty.

Luke said...

Oh god... thank you for being at least ONE other person that didn't understand the allure of this movie. Not only did it seem super contrived, but I really didn't get the lauding of Gainsbourg for this.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I don't mean to knock Von Trier [:)] but I'm a bit worried that you can do anything and it becomes art. I'm definitely with you Luke.