Written and Directed by Lars von Trier
I like to think that I’m a smart person. I like to think that, but sometimes what I think and the way I feel are two different things. Take the film “Antichrist”, for instance. I like to think that the film is about the stages of grief that a person or persons goes through after experiencing the sudden death of a loved one. The couple in this film remains nameless and is only referred to in the credits as He and She. Their names are not important. What’s important is their grief and how they come to terms with it. Then again, maybe I’m just blowing smoke out of my ass.
Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” is one of the most visually striking and thematically confusing films I’ve ever watched and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have no idea what this film is about. At first I think that it’s about the stages of grief; but when I get comfortable with that notion the film shifts and I find myself watching a cross between Man vs. Wild, the Salem Witch Trials and a misogynistic rant. Then the film again shifts and becomes the most bizarre murder movie I’ve ever seen. Looking back at what I just wrote I sound like a madman who can’t form a coherent thought or sentence. There’s a lot of smoke coming out of my ass, but there’s no fire.
Instead of trying to figure the film out, maybe I should just give my opinion of it. It’s fucked up. There’s my opinion of it. It’s a fucked up mess of a movie that is both riveting and repulsive and beautiful and pornographic. It is a drama and a horror film and it rolls all of that up into one neat little fucked up masterpiece of a package. The biggest compliment I can give this film is that after it was over all I could think was “What the fuck just happened?”
Eva Green was considered for the leading lady but rejected because her contract was too complex.
The story is divided into four chapters, “Grief”, “Pain (Chaos Reigns)”, “Despair (Gynocide)” and “The Three Beggars”, in addition to a prologue and an epilogue, all displayed over abstract designs by Danish artist Per Kirkeby.
The title was the first thing that was written for the film.
The aria being sung during the Prologue is called Lascia ch’io pianga from Handel’s opera ‘Rodelinda’. The libretto translates from the Italian as: Let me weep my cruel fate, and I sigh for liberty. May sorrow break these chains of my sufferings, for pity’s sake.
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- Structures of Depressive Experience in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Melancholia (Philosophy Seminar, 1 March 2012) (medicalhumanities.wordpress.com)
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