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Heroic acting, stunning visuals, dream like enchanted forests, speaking foxes, genital mutilation,… there are so many things I heard and read about Antichrist before I watched it, maybe that is the reason why it took me two years to get around and actually watch the thing. All of the above is true, and more, but the film manages to emancipate itself from its reputational burden quickly, and especially Willem Dafoe’s character, with his effort of maintaining a rational approach, his need to be the strong pillar holding up the family when his wife’s psyche is crumbling, provides credibility  and roots the movie. It is all a highly stylized investigation into grief and pain, but it is (almost) never a caricature, or ridiculous. Over the course of the film, dreamlike sequences enter, and  I accepted them as visions of pain and suffering, both physical and emotional.

Despite all this symbolism and allegorical frame, there is actually – to my surprise – a story to be found. When the man finds out what had been going on, it is a bit too late for him to fix it, but we learn some details about the female history that will certainly allow other film makers to create some more gruesome spin-offs. Note to self: check copyright for “Gynocide – The Movie”.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091021/REVIEWS/910219990

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve really got to see this. I enjoyed Dogville and Manderlay, and I think I avoided this because I was peeved that it wasn’t the third in the US trilogy. (“Enjoyed” is probably the wrong word — I thought they were great movies that I probably couldn’t bring myself to see again.)

    I liked Dancer in the Dark too.

    (I just added Antichrist to my Netflix queue.)

  2. yes, one thing I forgot to mention: as the films you mentioned, this is not a candidate for repeat viewing… interestingly enough more so than “Dogville”, however, because there is enough production value (well: faces and nature) to enjoy a second visit. If you like those previous movies, I have no doubt you will “enjoy” Antichrist!


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