In an effort to post more frequently, I am going to get back to quick reviews of films soon after seeing them. Additionally, this will provide a record of my initial reaction to a film before reading reviews and accounts from others.
Let’s start with Antichrist by acclaimed Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier:
This is the first film by Von Trier I have seen, and am only vaguely familiar with the Dogme movement he was a part of. This film is not a part of that as far as I know and could tell.
My initial thoughts were that it was remarkably beautiful and brutal. However, I don’t think I fully understood the symbolism in it, or the point of it. At the beginning I was convinced Charlette Gainsbourg’s character was the protagonist and Willem Dafoe was the antagonist. However, that seemed to get flipped around at a certain point. So, I am not really sure who the audience was suppose to respond to, unless the answer is neither character and maybe that was the whole point.
A film that is this brutal, and trust me there a moments with shocking on screen acts that would make even the most desensitized movie-goer cringe (I am pretty sure one scene has mentally scarred me for life), and at time vague make it difficult to grasp everything that is going on. Multiple viewings would likely clear some of that up. Thus, the problem is how to convince oneself to view such grotesque acts, especially when you know they are coming, for a second or third time.
Overall, it is definitely worth a look for Willem Dafoe’s strong performance, the stunningly beautiful slow motions scenes, and the novelty factor of seeing something almost guaranteed to be unlike anything else you have ever viewed. For those without a strong stomach, or who would be wary of seeing full penetration on screen, it might be best to avoid this.
For films buffs, I say rent it. For people excited about Clash of the Titans in 3D!!!, I say avoid it.