Friday, 9 October 2009


Audience-teasing mountebank Lars von Trier returns to courting controversy with his latest film Antichrist. Comprising four chapters, a prologue and an epilogue, the film concerns a nameless couple whose lives have been changed forever by the death of their toddler son. The wife (an outstanding turn by Charlotte Gainsbourg) has developed a severe complex about the isolated cabin she had taken her son to the previous year. Her psychologist husband, played by Willem Dafoe, decides to take the matter into his own hands by taking her back to the cabin in the hope that she can be cured through acclimating herself to the object of her fear. The experiment backfires however, as she begins to increasingly rely on sex as a means of relief, a condition which deteriorates the more terrified she becomes. When the husband finally determines the root of her fear, he realises all too late that even he can do nothing to help her.

If you’re familiar with von Trier’s public-eye persona (“I am the best film director in the world), this film should come as no surprise. Although there is a wealth of imagination behind the project, the story is a drab affair, bolstered hugely by cheap animal symbolism and some hilariously misogynistic woman-possessed sequences. It is, however, a technical masterpiece – cinematic luddites will be easily wooed by Anthony Død Mantle’s fantastically experimental camerawork, and the chilling sound design. But for all its technical virtues, Antichrist still suffers from the after-effects of a rigorous subtlety enema.


  1. Was this filmed in the Dogma 95 style-more real than reality style? I liked some of his earlier movies but then lost track (and got bored) after that. Sounds like an interesting premise with good actors. Will most likely never be played in Florida though...

  2. The photography's not particularly... Dogmatic, but there are lots of angle changes and unusual pacing choices. It's definitely worth a watch I'd say, but there are some pretty brutal moments... von Trier doesn't shy away from showing anything. Why wouldn't it play in Florida?