Friday, February 5, 2010

Film Flash Friday: The fim I want to see but probably won't

Antichrist is one of those films I know will be an eye opener. It has been causing a stir, whether good or bad, the jury (read the critics who can make or break independent films) is divided. It has been dubbed the movie that feels as if your eyes are being scrapped out of your sockets. I must say that any movie that causes such a stir of emotion makes me curious. I want to see a film that if looked at philosophically is brilliant, but could also be called the most disturbing film of the century.

Here are two reviews below if you are interested. Maybe this will be the film you want to see and certainly will.

A.O. Scott NY Times
: (below is an excerpt)

"The rest of “Antichrist,” divided into chapters and shot in weird, pulsating, muted digital color by Anthony Dod Mantle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), explores the aftermath of this fatal incident, and expands on its implicit linking of female sexuality and death. The mother is mad with grief and guilt, and Ms. Gainsbourg’s anguished, naked (literally and otherwise) performance is, at least in the film’s first half, its only genuinely harrowing aspect. Following in the footsteps of Emily Watson in “Breaking the Waves,” Bjork in “Dancer in the Dark” and Nicole Kidman in “Dogville,” she allows herself to be pushed and provoked toward brave and extraordinary feats of acting in a dubious cause...That sinister, sylvan place is where they go to work things out, amid a storm of falling acorns and a riot of metaphors and curious optical effects. “Antichrist” certainly looks and sounds troubling, with landscapes that warp, buckle and undulate and an aural design that turns puffs of wind into satanic murmurs. Occasionally a grotesque animatronic animal — including a talking fox that has already gathered a cult following in cinephile circles — shows up to add an extra touch of Guignol."

Roger Ebert: (below is an excerpt)

"That said, I know what's in it for von Trier. What was in it for me? More than anything else, I responded to the performances. Feature films may be fiction, but they are certainly documentaries showing actors in front of a camera. Both Dafoe and Gainsbourg have been risk takers, as anyone working with von Trier must be. The ways they're called upon to act in this film are extraordinary. They respond without hesitation. More important, they convince. Who can say what von Trier intended? His own explanations have been vague. The actors take the words and actions at face value and invest them with all the conviction they can. The result, in a sense, is that He and She get away from von Trier's theoretical control and act on their own, as they are compelled to.

We don't know as much as we think we do about acting. In a recent interview, I asked Dafoe what discussions he had with Gainsbourg before their most difficult scenes. He said they discussed very little: "We had great intimacy on the set but the truth is we barely knew each other. We kissed in front of the camera the first time, we got naked for the first time with the camera rolling. This is pure pretending. Since our intimacy only exists before the camera, it makes it more potent for us."

So it is a documentary in one way. What does it document? The courage of the actors, for one thing. The realization of von Trier's images, for another. And on the personal level, our fear that evil does exist in the world, that our fellow men are capable of limitless cruelty, and that it might lead, as it does in the film, to the obliteration of human hope. The third stage is Despair."

Interesting stuff, but maybe too much a psychological bender for me.

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