Antichrist (IFC Films) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, December 7th, 2023  


Studio: IFC Films
Directed by Lars von Trier; Starring: Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Oct 28, 2009 Issue #28 Fall 2009 - Monsters of Folk
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With Antichrist, director Lars von Trier becomes a late entry in the contest against M. Night Shyamalan to see who can fall the farthest the fastest. It’s confounding that this film has respected proponents, despite its absurdly patronizing premise: a mother (Charlotte Gainsbourg) suffers an agonizing depression after her toddler son falls from a window to his death, which incidentally occurs while she’s climaxing from passionate sex with the father (Willem Dafoe). As therapy, the couple escapes to a cabin in the woods where she will confront the root of her suffocating anxieties. Somehow, Gainsbourg won a Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance, the only explanation being that the jury felt sorry for her having to perform a nude masturbation scene in the dirt.

Thanks in part to cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, there is one chillingly mesmerizing dreamscape sequence, but the graphic simulations of genital mutilation make an insult of von Trier’s dedication of this film to Tarkovsky. Antichrist should be viewed accompanied by wisecrack commentary, in the tradition of MST3K and Beavis and Butt-head.

Author rating: 2/10

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