I’m starting this topic as I watched ‘Antichrist’ recently and it moved me in an emotional way like no film has for a while.
What I want to pose is the question: should a film like ‘Antichrist’ be justified for its existance by its maker?
This comes about as I watched the extras on my DVD and the one short docu extra about the film premiering at Cannes 09 featured the press conference from the event. A gentleman (didn’t really pay much attention to his name) from The Daily Mail (!) posed the same question to Lars. When Lars refused to answer the question the gentleman became quite abrasive in his insistance that his question be answered.
My stand on this is that no artist should have to justify his work. Full stop. If we didn’t have challenging, controversial and ambiguous films (and other art forms), wouldn’t the world be a dull place. We’d all end up at the mercy of the Michael Bay machine of culture evolution (anyone noticing my downright loathing for this man), and that would be a very sad development.
I doubt anyone here will disagree with you on this topic. I don’t think any art should be justified and all of it should be readily available, even racist, bad, or ignorant art. No censorship, no justifying, especially by the author.
The one exception is actual harm caused to things like nature or people or animals. I don’t think any art justifies animal cruelty or burning down a forest, but…
Von Trier was depressed when he made it, and he wants you to be depressed as well, how is that morally justified?
AK87, where did he say that?
An artist or filmmaker should never, ever justify their work and never should be expected to. I don’t like Von Trier in general (although I haven’t seen Antichrist)- but that’s irrelevant. He did the right thing by not answering a question if it was putting him in the position of having to justify his work.
It’s been documented many times that he was very depressed when he made the film. Though I’ve yet to hear him SAY he wanted the audience to be depressed; I think the film did that for him.
I disagree! Heh, no I totally agree with the OP. And yes, I completely believe what AK87 posted is true (not the part about the non-justification). Whether Von Trier will admit it or not, he obviously wishes to erupt an extreme emotion out of his audience (and this emotion of course being depression via film themes of hopelessness, cruelty, etc.). His motives I can’t guess, but surely it can’t be out of some kind of malice – perhaps he’s a jester at heart.
No man with a good car needs to be justified!
I thought I was done commenting on this film months ago. But here it is reeling me back in – no doubt lvt would be pleased. Antichrist is a harrowing exploration of depression, misogyny and the occult. A horror like no other. A tale of love and loss. Doubtful that equals “jester at heart.”
depression can be extremely creative. He might be depressed but his ego still works normally, especially when he can claim that he’s the best director in world at the Cannes press conference.
Does anyone take anything Trier says or does seriously? He’s justified in making whatever he wants as long as he can find someone to fund it. Audiences are justified in not seeing whatever he chooses to make. Everyone is happy except Trier who becomes even more depressed the lack of acclaim that greets his masterpiece’s reception and responds by demanding that everyone refer to him as Generalfeldmarschall Von Trier from here on in.
>>especially when he can claim that he’s the best director in world at the Cannes press conference.<<
That comment sure comes across as a joke to me if it’s the interview with Willem Dafoe. Unless there is another comment out there, that one has been blown way out of proportion AND taken out of context.
What I want to pose is the question: should a film like ‘Antichrist’ be justified for its existence by its maker?
No, but it should be crucified.
“No, but it should be crucified.”
Three cheers for Mike.
I have no idea why you posted anything related to von Trier here, but that is besides the point.
He didn’t have to justify anything and I thought it was extremely disrespectful of the journalist for asking him to justify.
As always I find it fascinating that only controversial works elicit cries for justification.
I haven’t seen ANTICHRIST (I doubt it will play anywhere within 50 miles of my location) so I don’t know if it’s a work of art that explores uncomfortable territory or exploitatiove schlock. (The worst criticism I heard of it was from someone who simply found it boring and was more put off by the graphic insertion of a penis into a vagina than by the mutilation.)
But no one ever challenges the director of something like, say, BAD NEWS BEARS to justify his work.
And taking a page from Lorca, who felt that work that simply passes the time is the biggest artistic sin of all, I’d rather hear justification for such things as BAD NEWS BEARS.
Bad News Bears should be crucified … one by one.
Although AntiChrist was hardly funny, after finishing “The Kingdom” I’d say that at least for a time in his life, Lars von Trier was a “jester at heart.”
I think art needs to be justified if it’s touching on something cultural or political. it’s best to clear up misconceptions and create dialogue. If it’s an exercise in button pushing, like so many of Von Trier, and even Haneke, films are, why shouldn’t he feel obligated to justify himself? If you go out of your way to offend or shock people, and illicit strong responses, it’s only expected.
The assumption here is that Von Trier is trying shock and depress people. Until someone goes into Von Trier’s mind and steals his shoes, I do not think this is a fair platform to argue from.
An Artist should always have to justify their work.
Maybe that’s what I loved about “The Kingdom.” Instead of waiting for interviews that asked for justification, von Trier simply ended each episode with a short speech about why you as the viewer are watching and what he hopes you experienced in the process. Of course, it seems tongue-in-cheek, but he seems to be preemptive by quickly giving oversimplifications and summaries of his work in order to poke fun at the same types of reviewers that would someday ask him stupid questions about AntiChrist at Cannes. Whether we find his art as exciting, destructive, sexist, offensive, groundbreaking, or whatever, we can discuss that as filmwatchers and cultural critics. Once it has been screened once, it is no longer entirely von Trier’s or any other filmmaker’s. And we’ll never know the real intentions whether or not he gives an answer. But it doesn’t only matter what his intentions were. We now have the chance to interpret for ourselves. This is why films are so exciting. I don’t care about justifications from artists. I care about my own experiences with art, and then how I see that art in the context of other films and my culture.
A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him ~~ Man Ray
Jason Trochesset- kidding? Why? Why why why ever?
I don’t think anyone has to justify his/her work as long as there is no harm done to people, nature or animals. I don’t intend to see Antichrist, because I know I wouldn’t enjoy the viewing. I liked earlier LvT. I don’t like his work anymore. But there are people who do. It’s their prerogative to be allowed to watch it. If LvT gets the money to do his films, obviously there is a public to watch them. That’s enough to justify his work.
What exactly would a “justification” of a film look like, anyway—an apologia, a mathmatical proof, Cliffs Notes?
>> I’m starting this topic as I watched ‘Antichrist’ recently and it moved me in an emotional way like no film has for a while.
What I want to pose is the question: should a film like ‘Antichrist’ be justified for its existance by its maker?<<
It moved you in an emotional way like no film has in a while & you ask for it to be justified? That is the justification.
Now what’s the justification for mindless drivel like TRANSFORMERS 2?
Yeah—if there’s a “justification” for a work of art it seems to me it’s internal—art is “self-justifying” (or not).
@ strawdawg…“out of context”? have a look…