Saturday, January 25, 2014

ANTICHRIST (2009)



Written & Directed By: Lars Von Trier 
Cinematography By: Anthony Dod Mantle 
Editor: Asa Mosberg & Anders Refn 

 Cast: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
This was originally conceived as a 3D film originally.

A couple lose their young son when he falls out of a window while they are having sex in another room. The mother's grief consigns her to hospital, but her therapist husband brings her home intent on treating her depression himself. To confront her fears they go to stay at their remote cabin in the woods, "Eden", where something untold happened the previous summer. Told in four chapters with a prologue and epilogue, the film details acts of lustful cruelty as the man and woman unfold the darker side of nature outside and within.

Though I did anticipate it. I can't say I enjoyed the path this film took me on. Though I oddly felt comfortable on it. I might just be getting used to Mr. Von trier's films.

This movie received a special anti-award from the ecumenical jury at Cannes. The jury, which typically awards a film that promotes spiritual and humanist values, decided to award this film an anti-award for its misogynistic views. However, Lars Von Trier did not confirm in a later interview that he was a misogynist, saying he loved women and understood Her better than Him.

When the filming started, Lars Von Trier had just left a mental hospital where he stayed for two months, receiving treatment for depression. He had not completely recovered at the time and was even unable to operate the camera as he usually does, which made him very frustrated. He repeatedly excused himself to the actors for being in the mental condition he was, but, according to him, the actors supported him and throughout production, he did not experience any grave problems, except for his own condition.

I can see this as a failed conventional horror film, but is in itself s psychological horror film for the characters and he audience. Just not entirely conventional. Still artistic especially his coming after he was released from a mental hospital for depression.

This is the first part of Von Trier’s Depression Trilogy MELANCHOLIA and NYMPHOMANIAC are the other parts.

This is his version of his failing to do a horror film. Just like dancer in the dark was his supposed failure of trying to do a musical, yes by conventional standards, but the way he does make the films fit a bi I to the genre conventions. Yet he enriches them by. Making them something more. Showing what you can do by attaching a story and letting that take center stage while letting the genre conventions help to further the story and tell it in a original way.

Von Trier seems one of the few punk rock directors who has the talent to back himself and his vision up. Even though at times he just seems out to shock and challenge audiences. What he does brilliantly is being obvious yet surrounding his subjects within a context that makes it naturally come out.

It's easy to see why some might view this film as misogynistic and pornographic. Though it's not sex you can take enjoyment in watching and. An he quite repulsive. I give the actors props for their. Revert and dedication to craft and Character.

It truly seems a film about man and accepting that nature is everywhere and we are naturally apart of it. No matter how much we try To change or destroy it. Eventually on some base level we always return to it and he harder we try, The more we upset the natural order and nature is forced to fight back and consume. Don't know if that was the Intention, but that is what I got a least out of it. Somewhat Especially by the end

According to Lars Von Trier, he tried his best to make a horror film but did not succeed and the same happened to him before when he tried to make a musical and the result was DANCER IN THE DARK.

The film is told in three chapters including a prologue and epilogue. The film builds it's terror chapter by chapter and as it goes along the chapter titles make little sense until you make it to the next one.

Unlike conventional horror whole this film has and doesn't have a message depending on how you look at it. For all of it's gore that is more personal and feels more real then common. At least it feels more of a necessity no matter how over the top t gets. Not just there to jar or meet the audiences requirements in fact most of the time you are hoping the film and characters won't do what you think they will.

The film at least gets your mind used to the idea of the violence and horror by systematically hocking you now and then. Making everything go the extra mile especially with it's numerous graphic sex scenes.

Sure the film at times might feel pretentious though I have to say shockingly that this is the least ego driven film of Von trier's also one of the few films that didn't feel emotionally manipulative. It feels like an honest attempt at a conventional film for him. Which obviously is a challenge for him as he can't seem to make a film without a psychological edge. This is also one of his shortest opus' .

Several notable names appear in the credits as having assisted Trier in the writing. Danish writers/directors Per Fly and Nikolaj Arcel are listed as script consultants, and writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen as story supervisor. Also credited are researchers dedicated to fields including "misogyny", "anxiety", "horror films" and "theology".

Just as the classical music he likes to use and sometimes begin his later movies with, this film feels like an opera a piece of art cinema. Rather then just a horror film or movie. If you can stand it. An addition to the home library

Grade: A

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