Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chaos Reigns - Antichrist

Alright, alright, the talking fox and the genital mutilation in Antichrist were a bit over the top, but the film did not deserve the overwhelmingly negative criticism it has received in the press. One of the qualities of Von Trier's movies is that they always simulate a good discussion. In fact, whether I liked Von Trier's Antichrist or not, I can't stop thinking about it. Trying to deconstruct the meaning of the scenes, first as a whole and then in segments, is pointless. The symbolism clearly pays homage to the Russian filmmaker Tarkovsky. But, it has a Japanese horror aesthetic and surreal-like quality destined to make it a cult classic. 

Maybe it's not an anti-feminist film, as I previously thought. Probably the more interesting part is about motherhood and madness. Is infanticide the only way out of the patriarchal system?

The husband, who is a psychologist and treating his grieving wife, has all the power and control in the relationship. Only through violent sexual acts does the wife level the playing field. Madness is her only way to escape the confines of marriage and the psychological treatment prescribed to her.

In the end, though, did I miss the sensational elements of the film by looking away during the genital mutilation scene? The gasps from the audience were enough for me. 

Go watch if you want to see Willem Defoe's penis ejaculating blood.

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