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  #1  
Old 08-03-2009, 10:40 AM
ANTICHRIST Discussion (Contains Spoilers)

My thoughts on this film are a little confused right now. That’s not to say that I didn’t absolutely love it. I thought the cinematography was breathtaking and the narrative was anything but mundane and plodding (as has been suggested by some of the reviews I have since read). Charlotte Gainsbourgs performance is truly awe-inspiring…although I expected nothing less from the dynamic, talented female at the centre of a Von Trier vehicle. It’s audacious, haunting, pretentious, confrontational, humourous, cathartic and utterly bizarre at times. And yet in spite of it all I thought it was just brilliant from the very first shot to the last.

The opening scenes are unflinchingly explicit and exquisitely shot. But the beauty of each frame serves only to masquerade a sense of dread which culminates in an event so tragic and yet so poetically photographed that it’s difficult to know how to feel about it.

I loved the scenes that followed…Her journey into Grief. These scenes were challenging and believable and deeply disconcerting. I found the sporadic score made up of primal rumblings and twisted animal song incredibly powerful and absolutely pivotal to the films tone.

The journey into Eden was quite possibly my favourite part of the film. The shots of Gainsbourg crossing the bridge with her floral dress and the light emanating from her skin were just beautiful. And when she disappeared into the grass I was utterly entranced.

Antichrist seems to draws from many areas including Science and the Supernatural, Theology and Psychology…and then it promptly rips up the rulebook and creates a Mythology all of its own. I have so many thoughts and theories rambling around in my head right now that I’m finding it difficult to articulate myself. So bear with me if you will…

When we first discover that ‘She’ has been putting Nic’s shoes on the wrong feet I think this is an indication that she might actually be - or at least strive to be - evil in the purest sense. She obviously lost some part of her mind when she first visited Eden to complete her thesis…or her rational thought process was at least corrupted by some part of her research into the topic.

It’s hard to believe that this act was accidental. The Polaroid’s show that she repeatedly forced his little feet into the wrong shoes and a flashback from Dafoe’s POV shows the little boy crying as She does so.

At first I thought that He was going to write “MEN” at the top of the fear pyramid and I thought she might have been crippling her son as a form of punishment or maybe even to prevent him from walking around in the night (something only She was aware of). It’s possible she contributed to Nic’s death in the sense that she hindered his movement or balance and this somehow resulted in him losing his footing at the window ledge. It’s a reach, but not totally out of the realms of possibility. I also couldn’t help but think of how Satanism and suggestions of satanic possession often relate to opposites…backwards speech, the reversal of supposed 'norms'. It was almost as if she was going AGAINST nature and what is essentially ‘right’ by corrupting what is an everyday task (putting on shoes correctly) and altering her Sons physicality.

My own take on the writhing bodies beneath the great tree roots is that they are the souls of the victims of ‘Gynocide’ that She has studied in texts and paintings. Gainsbourg and Dafoe’s lovemaking amongst the tree roots and the naked torsos within seems almost sacrificial to me…an offering of sorts. I think the people inside the earth are the same blurry-faced women dressed in white that we see rushing towards Him at the end of the film. I am inclined to believe that he is somehow more connected with these people - and indeed Nature as a force - as he forages and eats the berries from the dirt.

The millstone that She attaches to Dafoe’s leg is symbolic. Millstones have been used as a torture device for (thousands of?) years now…and are notably prevalent in Biblical and Medieval torture tales. No doubt many of the victims of ‘Gynocide’ will have been burdened with a millstone around their neck and tortured until death. I think it’s also worth noting that she is burned upon a pyre…not unlike the alleged Witches of early modern Europe.

Whilst the clitoridectomy scene is uncomfortable viewing, it isn’t exploitative or gratuitous in the slightest. I believe that Gainsbourg’s self-mutilation relates to the fact that her Son died whilst she was in the throes of climactic ecstasy. Every orgasm she will ever experience will be a reminder of her tragic loss, and she believes that her sexual desire is the root cause of Nic’s death. Of course this is where the outraged cries of MISOGYNY stem from.

I’m not entirely sure what “The Three Beggars” are meant to represent aside from what is made clear to us within the script.

The deer, the fox and the crow all have very distinct roles within the film. The deer at first appears beautiful and majestic, and then suddenly we are presented with a gruesome representation of the loss of a child. I think the talking fox is there as an indication that She is now truly in the grip of madness, “Chaos Reigns” in both the character and what is yet to unfold within the film. The crow is interesting because it seems to be telling us that you cannot bury or destroy certain elements of nature…and nature is most definitely NOT Dafoe’s friend despite the fact that he lends the creature a helping hand. On a side note I thought that Dafoe punching a crow was the most darkly comedic part of the film…it was just so fundamentally fucked up and weird. I also found one of the closing shots of “The Three Beggars” all stood together, slightly transparent a bit of a wry wink in the audience’s direction.

Anyway, I thought Antichrist was a totally flawed masterpiece and I haven’t thought about a film this intensely since Inland Empire. I think it should be seen by everybody and I’m glad that reactionary tabloid cunts *ahem*The Daily (hate) Mail*ahem* are practically encouraging people to take an interest in this challenging and provocative piece of work.

I’m interested in everybody’s opinions and theories on the film. I have actually had to stop myself writing as I’ve been typing for almost an hour now and that seems a LITTLE excessive.

Forgive my waffle and apologies if this doesn’t read as well as I intended.

Let the discussion commence…

Last edited by BadCoverVersion; 08-03-2009 at 10:46 AM.. Reason: I put HOT Dafoe instead of NOT Dafoe. Freudian slip?
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2009, 10:58 AM
I thought, and still think, that it is a film about Christianity's persecution of women.

Gainsbourg, if you notice, cannot cross the bridge because there is water running beneath it - the mark of a witch, according to some - in order to enter Eden. Having been responsible for mankind being exiled from Eden, women are persecuted by men, leading to the witch-hunts popularised in the16th Cetury. These so-called witches were actually pagans, with a strong connection to nature and natural order. She is afraid of nature, perhaps because she realises that to resume her paganistic ways would result in her persecution. Once she accepts nature is not Satan's Church, she is seen happily dancing in the water, and at peace.

It is only when she is criticized for being happy in Eden, losing her grief, that she returns to her catastrophic state of mind and the return of the crippling anxiety that leads to her death.

I'll add more shortly. Back soon.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2009, 11:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reigh Kaufman View Post
I thought, and still think, that it is a film about Christianity's persecution of women.

Gainsbourg, if you notice, cannot cross the bridge because there is water running beneath it - the mark of a witch, according to some - in order to enter Eden. Having been responsible for mankind being exiled from Eden, women are persecuted by men, leading to the witch-hunts popularised in the16th Cetury. These so-called witches were actually pagans, with a strong connection to nature and natural order. She is afraid of nature, perhaps because she realises that to resume her paganistic ways would result in her persecution. Once she accepts nature is not Satan's Church, she is seen happily dancing in the water, and at peace.

It is only when she is criticized for being happy in Eden, losing her grief, that she returns to her catastrophic state of mind and the return of the crippling anxiety that leads to her death.

I'll add more shortly. Back soon.
Very interesting. I'd definitely like to hear you elaborate on this theory.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2009, 11:31 AM
I can honestly say I hate you guys because you got to see this movie and I didn't.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2009, 12:39 PM
i was just browsing showtimes and i found this

http://www.londonnet.co.uk/films/ant...screening.html

parent and baby screening of antichrist? them kids just won't be right!
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2009, 12:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosimo View Post
i was just browsing showtimes and i found this

http://www.londonnet.co.uk/films/ant...screening.html

parent and baby screening of antichrist? them kids just won't be right!
Ha ha ha...what the eff are they thinking? That aint cricket.
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2009, 05:35 PM
i am so envious of you schmoes that have seen it. where can i watch this?!?!
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2009, 07:28 PM
It's out on general release in the UK...and as we are usually the ones shafted when it comes to release dates I do declare that y'all just gotta deal with it .
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2009, 07:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadCoverVersion View Post
It's out on general release in the UK...and as we are usually the ones shafted when it comes to release dates I do declare that y'all just gotta deal with it .
Hey, Lady Version - remember that bit when *whisper whisper*? Heh - best moment in cinema EVER!

Wish you guys could join in.

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  #10  
Old 08-03-2009, 07:58 PM
Pure evil that's what you are Reigh.
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2009, 11:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reigh Kaufman View Post
I thought, and still think, that it is a film about Christianity's persecution of women.

Gainsbourg, if you notice, cannot cross the bridge because there is water running beneath it - the mark of a witch, according to some - in order to enter Eden. Having been responsible for mankind being exiled from Eden, women are persecuted by men, leading to the witch-hunts popularised in the16th Cetury. These so-called witches were actually pagans, with a strong connection to nature and natural order. She is afraid of nature, perhaps because she realises that to resume her paganistic ways would result in her persecution. Once she accepts nature is not Satan's Church, she is seen happily dancing in the water, and at peace.

It is only when she is criticized for being happy in Eden, losing her grief, that she returns to her catastrophic state of mind and the return of the crippling anxiety that leads to her death.
I do see sense in your interpretation, but at the beginning with the death of the child and the parents having sex oblivious, would that also somewhat suggest at the notion that sex being villified in the Bible and how well, BAD it is?
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2009, 11:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reigh Kaufman View Post
Hey, Lady Version - remember that bit when *whisper whisper*? Heh - best moment in cinema EVER!

Wish you guys could join in.

AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2009, 04:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tagia_Romero View Post
I do see sense in your interpretation, but at the beginning with the death of the child and the parents having sex oblivious, would that also somewhat suggest at the notion that sex being villified in the Bible and how well, BAD it is?
Absolutely. I was being coy when I said Christianity. I specifically meant Catholicism, particularly in light of my remark after the first viewing that Martin Scorcese would adore the weight of Catholic guilt present in the film. This subtext runs throughout the film, but I felt it most keenly when She refuses to allow He to leave her (divorce requiring Papal dispensation) and attaches the millstone to his leg. Lady Version says:

The millstone that She attaches to Dafoe’s leg is symbolic. Millstones have been used as a torture device for (thousands of?) years now…and are notably prevalent in Biblical and Medieval torture tales. No doubt many of the victims of ‘Gynocide’ will have been burdened with a millstone around their neck and tortured until death. I think it’s also worth noting that she is burned upon a pyre…not unlike the alleged Witches of early modern Europe.


Which fits my interpretation.

However, I also took it to be a more obvious metaphor: that of marriage being a grind, something that has to be worked on. And if you are devoutly Catholic but the marriage is not working this grindstone is a symbolic device of torture that you must carry around for the rest of your life. This can be taken to a further interpretation: He's punishment (He does not ache the way that She aches because he rationalizes his grief) is carrying his burdensome wife She around for the rest of his life. With no escape from his wife - and the choking weight of her guilt and suffering dragging him into her psychosis (remember it is He who sees the thought-fox say "Chaos Reigns") - it is logical that He, in keeping with his monstrous Church, should "divorce" She with his hands gripped tightly around her neck.

This, however, runs parallel with my main interpretation: the gynocide of women by the Christian - specifically Catholic - church.

I]My own take on the writhing bodies beneath the great tree roots is that they are the souls of the victims of ‘Gynocide’ that She has studied in texts and paintings. Gainsbourg and Dafoe’s lovemaking amongst the tree roots and the naked torsos within seems almost sacrificial to me…an offering of sorts. I think the people inside the earth are the same blurry-faced women dressed in white that we see rushing towards Him at the end of the film. I am inclined to believe that he is somehow more connected with these people - and indeed Nature as a force - as he forages and eats the berries from the dirt.[/I]

This was my interpretation, too. I thought that the women approaching him were the women who had died at the hands of the church. They are nameless and faceless, but their blood has been spilled in the ground and has now returned to Nature where we see them in the final shot as the undergrowth surrounding the path that He is walkng. This is echoed earlier in the film when She is seen becoming one with the world around her, sinking into the long grass and becoming a part of Nature. ("Ashes to ashes"?).

The guilt and shame of sex is pure Catholic guilt and my observations on it are trite and obvious. Suffice is to say, however, that it is this guilt which causes She to unsex herself.

P.S. Never try to write about a Lars Von Trier film when you are sleepy - it is very hard work.

Last edited by Reigh Kaufman; 08-04-2009 at 07:06 AM..
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2009, 03:42 AM
I just caught this at miff this past wednesday. Wow, favourite film of the year thus far. Not only is the film just gorgeous, but every single tiny bit means and stands for something. It has so many layers that i know i'll be watching this time and time again in the years to come. I caught the uncut version with a sold out audience and wow was it great to be in a place full of reaction. I think this is getting a censored release in Australia, but i honestly don't know what could be cut from this without loosing some of the desired effect and meaning.

9/10 for me.
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2009, 05:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reigh Kaufman View Post
Absolutely. I was being coy when I said Christianity. I specifically meant Catholicism, particularly in light of my remark after the first viewing that Martin Scorcese would adore the weight of Catholic guilt present in the film. This subtext runs throughout the film, but I felt it most keenly when She refuses to allow He to leave her (divorce requiring Papal dispensation) and attaches the millstone to his leg. Lady Version says:

The millstone that She attaches to Dafoe’s leg is symbolic. Millstones have been used as a torture device for (thousands of?) years now…and are notably prevalent in Biblical and Medieval torture tales. No doubt many of the victims of ‘Gynocide’ will have been burdened with a millstone around their neck and tortured until death. I think it’s also worth noting that she is burned upon a pyre…not unlike the alleged Witches of early modern Europe.


Which fits my interpretation.

However, I also took it to be a more obvious metaphor: that of marriage being a grind, something that has to be worked on. And if you are devoutly Catholic but the marriage is not working this grindstone is a symbolic device of torture that you must carry around for the rest of your life. This can be taken to a further interpretation: He's punishment (He does not ache the way that She aches because he rationalizes his grief) is carrying his burdensome wife She around for the rest of his life. With no escape from his wife - and the choking weight of her guilt and suffering dragging him into her psychosis (remember it is He who sees the thought-fox say "Chaos Reigns") - it is logical that He, in keeping with his monstrous Church, should "divorce" She with his hands gripped tightly around her neck.

This, however, runs parallel with my main interpretation: the gynocide of women by the Christian - specifically Catholic - church.

I]My own take on the writhing bodies beneath the great tree roots is that they are the souls of the victims of ‘Gynocide’ that She has studied in texts and paintings. Gainsbourg and Dafoe’s lovemaking amongst the tree roots and the naked torsos within seems almost sacrificial to me…an offering of sorts. I think the people inside the earth are the same blurry-faced women dressed in white that we see rushing towards Him at the end of the film. I am inclined to believe that he is somehow more connected with these people - and indeed Nature as a force - as he forages and eats the berries from the dirt.[/I]

This was my interpretation, too. I thought that the women approaching him were the women who had died at the hands of the church. They are nameless and faceless, but their blood has been spilled in the ground and has now returned to Nature where we see them in the final shot as the undergrowth surrounding the path that He is walkng. This is echoed earlier in the film when She is seen becoming one with the world around her, sinking into the long grass and becoming a part of Nature. ("Ashes to ashes"?).

The guilt and shame of sex is pure Catholic guilt and my observations on it are trite and obvious. Suffice is to say, however, that it is this guilt which causes She to unsex herself.

P.S. Never try to write about a Lars Von Trier film when you are sleepy - it is very hard work.
I really like your theories and I think they fit well with my own. I will go into more detail at some point...

Lars Von Trier requires a clear head, very true.
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2009, 07:19 AM
a date has been set. tuesday the 11th

i had a nightmare about me watching antichrist last night, that is how much i am dreading it
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  #17  
Old 08-28-2009, 11:53 AM
I caved in and watched the screener that popped up online recently. Even though I haven't seen many Trier movies I think it would be safe to say that this is his best looking one. It's too bad the movie has the reputation going against it because in a more perfect world Gainsbourg, Dod Mantle and Dafoe would be big talks for Oscar/GG/etc nominations.

Am I the only one who looked at what was going on as a demonic possession? If it's true that nature is Satan's church, then is it possible that she was possessed by nature? I like BCV and Reigh's interpretations and the idea of how women become a part of nature, but that might go into the thought that women are/can become agents of Satan. We all know that Eve was tempted by the snake to eat the apple, so women are 'easier' to convince and possess (this view really does paint out Lars to be the horrible misogynist people claim he is though).

It's a movie that definitely warrants rewatching, I'm sure that people will be so curious about the mutilations going on that they'll forget about how this is a pretty complex 'arthouse' movie. One thing I wanted to say though was that I'm annoyed with the critics' response to Antichrist since it seems like they only want to discuss about if Trier is playing a prank or not. How about we just talk about what the movie is about and what it's saying?
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  #18  
Old 08-28-2009, 05:18 PM
before i catch the screener i want everyone to know that i was pretty close to seeing this at the cinema
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  #19  
Old 08-28-2009, 09:34 PM
I'm finally getting ready to watch this! I will be back.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2009, 03:29 AM
i watched the first 5 when i woke which wasn't wise. instead i chose something lighter in the form of spongebob on tv. that patrick cracks me up!

the thing i really liked about dogville was that at times it was real funny, but with this i get the feeling it'll be more depressing than breaking the waves. and the screener with the timer on the top is off putting. probably give this a pass till the dvd rip, hopefully by then i might be able to handle it
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  #21  
Old 08-29-2009, 06:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadCoverVersion View Post
I really like your theories and I think they fit well with my own. I will go into more detail at some point...

Lars Von Trier requires a clear head, very true.
I just downloaded the screener so I am going to rewatch and then have a go at responding to your post Kaufman.

someguy...I also thought possession was the most sensible/logical explanation...

Quote:
I also couldn’t help but think of how Satanism and suggestions of satanic possession often relate to opposites…backwards speech, the reversal of supposed 'norms'. It was almost as if she was going AGAINST nature and what is essentially right by corrupting what is an everyday task (putting on shoes correctly) and altering her Sons physicality.
I am also pretty tired of the suggestions that Trier is playing an elaborate prank...where and why did this rumour even begin? Antichrist is a very thoughtful and interesting piece of work and I think these suggestions undermine it.

However Willem Dafoe punching a crow was all kinds of funny. I'm sure that moment was intended to have some comedy value.
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  #22  
Old 08-29-2009, 06:33 AM
It leaked? The curiosity just might kill me.
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  #23  
Old 08-29-2009, 06:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicPuppet View Post
It leaked? The curiosity just might kill me.
the timer is distracting. would wait if you can
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  #24  
Old 08-29-2009, 06:49 AM
I guess Oct. 23 isn't that far away. But it feels like it. Thanks for the warning.
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  #25  
Old 08-29-2009, 12:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosimo View Post
the timer is distracting. would wait if you can
i didn't mind the timer. but my audio was out of sync. so i just had to download two versions and open them in two different player and sync the audio.

Now. On to my review.

I watched it last night and was completely awestruck and didn't know what to think. So i woke up and watched it again this morning. This is a very hard movie to explain-just like all of Von Trier's works. Although i do think this is his best film, all controversy aside. The cinematography has a lot going for it visually and the symbolism is great (espessialy the second time around). The opening scene and some of the other artsy slo-mo scenes are well executed to almost perfection. I also appreciate how there is a good bit of ambiguity of whats really going on. Is it psychological or supernatural?

9/10 point off because Von Trier seems a bit on his high horse here, and i think he threw some unnecessary things in here and there for artsy purposes. But overall its a fine film, although not for everyone.

Also, i agree with someguy and my interpretation that she in fact, possessed my Satan/evil/nature. There is a few things that point this out. On that triangle diagram Dafoe was drawing, he put the top fear as "Satan", then soon marked it out and put "Me". Also it seems like nature is like a third character, deceptively closing in more and more throughout the movie (the acorns, ticks, the animals(three beggars), the tree falling down, and one part that stuck out in particular: right after the talking fox and the next title card comes up, it starts raining. Powerful stuff. Another part that stuck out to me that indicates this is when "He" and "She" do the role playing exercise, Dafoe says exactly what the evil omnipresense would be saying.
The only thing I really dont get is the Epilogue. What was the point of all the women going up the hill? To find their true nature?
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  #26  
Old 08-30-2009, 05:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahs View Post
i didn't mind the timer. but my audio was out of sync. so i just had to download two versions and open them in two different player and sync the audio.
there's now a copy out with blurred timer and fixed audio

so ya i watched the first half. the dream sequences are jaw dropping. i haven't read what you lot have said due to possible spoilers but it reminds me of mirror, tarkovsky is a major influence
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  #27  
Old 08-30-2009, 06:51 AM
so i just finished watching it
with the tarkovsky dedication at the end neuts!
it's a completely fucked masterpiece no doubt

the images and sound were impeccable

i'd like to find a girl as loco as gainsbourg in this film. that relationship was crazy but darn entertaining. one minute she'd be furiously wanking in the woods, the next she's placing your dick in a bear trap. now that would be ace!
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  #28  
Old 08-30-2009, 07:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosimo View Post
i'd like to find a girl as loco as gainsbourg in this film. that relationship was crazy but darn entertaining. one minute she'd be furiously wanking in the woods, the next she's placing your dick in a bear trap. now that would be ace!
HAhaha!
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  #29  
Old 08-30-2009, 12:53 PM
I don't think von Trier put as much thought into the movie as you guys have in interpreting it. It seemed like a kitchen sink approach wherein if he had enough half-baked Psyc 101 allegories and symbolism, some of them would stick and speak to the audience. Granted, I think the man is an idiot and I realize most people here love Dogville which I thought was an appalling film. This one is nowhere near as cohesive as Lynch's works. Gorgeous to look at and experience though.
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  #30  
Old 08-31-2009, 11:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakeTheMooCow View Post
I don't think von Trier put as much thought into the movie as you guys have in interpreting it. It seemed like a kitchen sink approach wherein if he had enough half-baked Psyc 101 allegories and symbolism, some of them would stick and speak to the audience. Granted, I think the man is an idiot and I realize most people here love Dogville which I thought was an appalling film. This one is nowhere near as cohesive as Lynch's works. Gorgeous to look at and experience though.
You have a valid point...but it's interesting to chit-chat and throw the theories out there.
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  #31  
Old 09-01-2009, 05:23 AM
Sounds like we are missing a great movie!
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  #32  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:36 AM
Lars von Trier honestly has created something special and one of a kind. Its apparent throughout the course of the film that Trier intentionally left things for the viewers own interpretation. The mystic and environmental scenes are absolutely beautiful and stunning and with the intellectual dialogue and psychology breakdowns throughout the course of the film I really felt I was watching the struggle of a man while trying to remain a faithful husband was also trying to play as the therapist to his wife's condition.

The film definitely requires a second viewing or perhaps even more. What I took from the film, as an overall interpretation if you will, is that Eden was nature and nature was always innocent and holy. Man (Dafoe) introduces sin and evil (Gainsbourg) into the good and innocence of the world (woods). Over the course of the film though it is somewhat directed that the true evil all along was man. Since in turn Man forced evil into a place where it was not present and unfortunately shows the ignorance and unknowing of mankind and its repeated history of making notable mistakes.

I guarantee if I were to watch the film again this interpretation might shift dramatically, but who knows. The next time I'd like to watch this film is when it arrives on DVD.

10/10
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  #33  
Old 09-04-2009, 06:44 PM
The movie was definitely focused on the female. "She" was always the force and cause of the movie. "He" was just reactionary. He was neither the solution to She nor the successful problem solver, so He's not a heroic role. But I don't know if this keeps any misogyny at arm's length. She was the most destructive and anguished and damaging force throughout the entire movie. While plenty of the shots and dialogue sympathized with Her, She was treated as the confused thing to ruin Eden and happy times. She was responsible for the death of the child, she was the one too weak to face herself, she was the aggressive one always calling Him arrogant or righteous, she was the horny one always begging him for sex. The only shining light on womanhood is when He tells her that she should know better than to persecute herself.
...then again, He was the one saying it.

Also, She harmed Him in addition to harming Herself. If all Her violence was self-centered and self-inflicted she could have remained a tragic figure, and Antichrist could then be taken as a dark and symbolic exploration of female guilt. But I felt that having "Her" hurt "Him" deafened her own inner turmoil and made her into the movie's monster. Schmoes talk about persecution and the blurred faces of women killed nameless, faceless, but that scene could also be taken as the muddy view that all women are alike, all women are afflicted, they're all She.

The movie had interesting things to show. I don't know if I would agree with them, or even if they are smart things, but I enjoyed how thick it all was. And so beautifully shot too.

How did everybody handle the sexual violence? I have it on good authority that the blood went from my face when She snipped off her clit. I'm not jaded yet to fictional genital mutilations.
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  #34  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:41 PM
James Berardinelli's thoughts on the movie:

http://www.reelviews.net/reelthought...identifier=600
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2009, 06:32 PM
WOW. I can't recall being blown away by a film as much as I was here...

First of all this was the most unconventional, savage, and horrendous film I have ever seen. The look of the film is like every one of my most horrific nightmares rolled into one. The acting is incredible...

But in all honesty, this comes off to me as just a boistrous, pretentious, and savage portrayal of a battle of the sexes. HE is constantly concerned with the logic and reasoning to everything, and seems emotionally neutered. Meanwhile SHE is emotionally and sexually fixated, using it as a weapon and a comfort agent. SHE comes off as weak and in need of help, and HE does all he can until he realizes that she is beyond his help.

And when she goes to research about the terrible things that men do to women, she comes to the conclusion that the evil laid within the women. Almost sounding like she came to think that these women deserved being burned and persecuted.

And what about the three animals? First HE finds the beautiful deer out in the forrest but then sees the horrible deformity its become after child birth. Then the fox, destroying itself and preaching chaos. Last comes the squaking crow the HE tries to beat to death but just never shuts up...am I reading too much into this? Am I missing some kind of religious meaning? Because the only definition for the Antichrist that seemed to come forward in this film was Women. Not to mention the fact that SHE may have had more a hand in the death of their son than HE did. Not only had her continous mistreatment of the child (putting the shoes on the wrong feet) caused to a bone mis-structure, but also that she saw him out of his crib as they were having sex. SHE saw him climbing up by the window. And SHE knew that he was waking up and could get himself out of the crib.

Jesus I want to hate this film but with all the thoughts, discussions, and multiple interpretations have to mean he's done something right, right?

85/100 (I guess...?)

Last edited by Kevin Smith fan; 09-25-2009 at 06:36 PM..
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  #36  
Old 09-25-2009, 06:50 PM
Going to see it in a couple of hours at the Atlantic Film Festival. I'll be back with my thoughts later!
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  #37  
Old 09-25-2009, 10:00 PM
I gave in and saw this film awhile ago (online) and while I didnt "enjoy" it as much as I thought I would. I really thought it was a well made (border-line) brilliant film.

From a technical standpoint, its flawless. The pacing, score and cinematography are all top notch.

The gore in it didnt bother me that much because I knew about it all prior to watching it so it didnt shock me like it would to the people at Cannes.

8.5/10
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  #38  
Old 09-26-2009, 12:19 AM
Antichrist - 7/10

Good film. I don't think it's great, and that's not because I cannot make up my mind or that I need to re-watch it several times to appreciate it, I just think it was a good but not great film. The first half was really quite something. The opening was absolutely fantastic. Easily one of the best scenes in any film this year. The second half though was a bit disappointing considering how much hype and controversy surrounded the scenes within it. The pacing and focus was really solid throughout the first half, but the second half lost that pacing and focus and kind of dragged the film down a bit. And I think hearing all the hype about how disturbing it was kind of ruined it for me. The violence certainly was graphic, brutal and disturbing, but it really wasn't THAT bad. The fire hydrant scene from Irreversible was far worse than anything in this film IMO. The performances are both brilliant, and the cinematography is top-notch and Oscar worthy. Now for the most important point I want to make... I don't think this film is quite as deep and meaningful as some people are making it out to be. Sure, there is plenty of symbolism, etc. but it was a bit more simplistic than I was expecting. No, that doesn't mean it's an easy film to understand, but this is not Eraserhead where 32 years later no one has been able to discover David Lynch's intentions. And this is my problem with Lars von Trier, he just likes to fuck with people. While Mark Kermode enjoyed this film much more than I did, his initial review summed it up quite well. Lars von Trier often fools people into making more out of his films than is necessary. He initially claimed he made it based on his feelings of depression (which is very evident, but not necessarily the sole basis), and has since made other statements. For all we know von Trier may have just taken a basic idea and expanded on it with random shit that popped into his brain. Or on the contrary, maybe this is his deepest film yet. No one can really know for sure except Lars von Trier. And while this is my problem with von Trier, it is also what makes him so spectacular. He just fucks with your head and pulls some reverse psychology shit on you. He makes you think that there's a deeper meaning, when really there isn't, but then maybe there actually is but he wants you to think that there isn't by thinking he is pulling some reverse psychology. I apologize if this review has been confusing, but I have just spent two hours watching a Lars von Trier film, what do you expect?
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  #39  
Old 09-27-2009, 07:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemovies View Post
James Berardinelli's thoughts on the movie:

http://www.reelviews.net/reelthought...identifier=600
He calls Gainsbourg Gainsborough...twice. What's up with that?

Anyway, the film is a masterpiece. I'll have to collect my thoughts and come back but a solid 9/10 for sure. I couldn't look away.
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  #40  
Old 10-06-2009, 01:06 AM
Alright, I've come back with a newer interpretation.

A year before their son dies, she discovers at Eden that women are evil and that men punished them because of their evil ways. What I think happened was that she started to embrace her 'true nature' and start becoming evil, especially towards males. That's why she put the shoes on her son's feet the wrong way, and presumably it led up to her letting her son fall out of the window. Soon afterwards she realizes that, well, she was wrong. Her conclusions on Eden were wrong and now she feels the intense grief over her son's death.

Of course, He taking her back to Eden is a huge mistake on his part. Not only does this bring up the bad memories from her research the year earlier, it only makes her mental breakdown get accelerated. What She does is force her husband to persecute and (hopefully) murder her for her actions. Of course He won't do that, so she has to force him into doing it. That's why she smashes his balls and puts the stone through his leg or whatever, she's basically forcing him to kill her out of self defense. She eventually succeeds since he strangles her to death (notice that once he gets the stone off of his leg she stops fighting back, probably because she knows that it's time for her to die).

So yeah, that's how I see it now. She believes that women are evil, tries to embrace it but realizes she's wrong when she lets her son die. Once she goes to Eden she punishes herself by forcing her husband to take the role of the male persecutor and murder her even though she was basically giving him no other choice. As for the ending and the weird bodies in the forest, I'm not too sure. I guess I could lean on the thing Reigh was saying with all of them being victims of gynocide and that they were getting revenge on He for his murder.

And for all the religious shit and the three beggars, I'm gonna go with Bake on that. Just random shit Trier threw up there for the sake of it. In fact Trier recently said in a press conference that he would have taken all the religious references out.

Quote:
When asked about the Biblical references in the film and their significance to the overall story, von Trier conceded, “Normally, I would have gone through the script and taken all that shit out…I’m sorry about the Eden stuff. It came up and I let it be.” He continued, “If it has to do with religion, it’s to say that there is no God.”
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