The film was awesome. Nobody has done a film like this before to portray one’s anxiety etc, brilliant idea. The imagery was fantastic, the sounds were fantastic, the actors were fantastic – even their faces suited the parts. The thing I loved the most was the whole contrast of something that’s beautiful but dark. My fav bit was the beginning. It really drew me in – the black and white prologue and the music – I just wanted to be there. Thumbs up!
“Thumbs up”?? Wrong website.
Visually it was great but i can’t say that about other aspect of the film
two thumbs up from me :P.
Hey, anyone notice that Amazon has this for pre-order from Criterion???? Is this for real?
It appears I’m coming to this a little late but, after having just seen Melancholia, I’ve been revisiting Antichrist as well.
I’ve read a lot of criticism of Antichrist that says that von Trier is a misogynist, or sets up gendered dichotomies, or etc etc, but I think that his goal in Antichrist requires those things to exist on the surface level. To me, as well as to several who have reviewed the film, Antichrist is actually a retelling of the story of genesis in reverse. “Antichrist” as a name reveals this; it is “against Christ,” only in a temporal sense.
I think the film follows this narrative pretty closely. We begin with both the act and the product of reproduction, the product of which is taken away immediately. We then begin to lose our reason, and retreat into nature (named, of course, “Eden”). From there, we lose reproduction itself, the ability to reproduce, and sex in general in mutilation scenes. Then, women disappears, and only man is left in nature.
This reading does a lot for Antichrist, for me at least. Some have commented on the mutilation scenes as torture porn or shock-value or graphic (and the intimate depictions may warrant that), but I think the presence of that mutilation is central to the film, and it serves as the climax of the narrative, thematic, and philosophical viewpoints that underpin this film. I also think that the staunch gender roles that are portrayed are a necessity. I can’t speak as to whether or not von Trier buys into those roles, etc., but in portraying a sort of horrific retelling of genesis in reverse, it makes sense to me that the film would be structured in such a way. (and, to reinforce things a little bit, it’s also the case that we really for the most part have only two characters in the film, “She” and “he”).
The film is rife with Christian symbology, and perversions of it (the three beggars, for instance). It’s been awhile since I’ve actually seen it, so I can’t really recall all of it now, but I remember being very struck by it during the viewing of the film, and feeling that this reverse retelling of Genesis was the central thrust of Antichrist.
I don’t know what exactly that means on von Trier’s part. I’m not sure if he’s undermining the story of Genesis in this film, or if he’s lamenting that a return to it would be horrific, and tainted by the sort of “knowingness” of man. Melancholia seems to suggest a cruel indifference on the part of nature toward man, so that reading may be an accurate one…but it’s totally possible that he’s lashing out at religion as well.
I just have to strongly disagree when people suggest that this film or Melancholia are “nice” or “visually great,” and then dismiss von Trier as a hack or as someone who is concerned with style. I think that his motives often are ambiguous, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a wealth of philosophy in his films. My friends and I have talked for days about both films, and each of us has a different interpretation. Our viewings overlap but never completely coincide, and sometimes contradict each other, yet they are all more or less consistent with what is presented in the films. That itself doesn’t necessarily make a film “great” or “smart” or “philosophical,” but I feel that it merits more than some of the criticism I’ve read around the web.
I also, however, have only seen these two films, so I can’t speak to the criticism that he makes the same film over and over. I thought those two were pretty similar, so I can see how that might be the case.
Our viewings overlap but never completely coincide, and sometimes contradict each other, yet they are all more or less consistent with what is presented in the films. That itself doesn’t necessarily make a film “great” or “smart” or “philosophical,” but I feel that it merits more than some of the criticism I’ve read around the web.
I think this facet of interpretation can describe effective art: coincide…. sometimes contradict…. consistent with what is presented…
In re to the reverse telling of Genesis, what did you make of the faceless women streaming up the hill near the end?