So, I have been telling myself since seeing The Kingdom in two, three hour installments in Brussels in 1995 that I would see the next Lars Von Trier movie every time one came out. And, for whatever reason… it just never happened. And now there’s this:
The viewer hovers between genuine shock—whatever your tolerance for on-screen gore, what He and She do to each other’s and their own bodies is sickening to watch—and the eye-rolling resignation one might feel at a teenage son’s gothcore concert. You win, Lars—if I’m the bourgeoisie, consider me épatée.
And also this:
There has already been some debate among critics about whether “Antichrist” is grossly misogynistic or slyly feminist, an argument ultimately as fruitless as the question posed by the movie about the nature of women (see above). That talking fox has given the movie a handy catchphrase — “Chaos reigns!” — but a more apt one is delivered by Ms. Gainsbourg among bouts of howling, sobbing and penis smashing: “None of this is any use at all.”
And yet, there’s something so tempting — like the Devil? — about this new movie. Could it be that I’m letting my love of Charlotte Gainsbourg overwhelm my judgment here?
So, my question for you, Dave, is: If you were me, would you go see Antichrist? And if so, would you strategically walk out?
What’s truly intriguing is that the genital mutilation has caught so much attention that the Brown Bunny-esque exigencies placed upon Defoe and Gainsbourg in the opening sequence have raised few eyebrows. It’s as if the American movie critic can just shrug and say, “Ah, those Europeans!”