Monthly Archives: July 2009
The director of the acclaimed sci-fi movie Moon, feted at the Sundance and Edinburgh film festivals, has taken a long time to make his mark but now he has emerged – and without any help from his father, David BowieMany fathers are eager to hand the fam… Continue reading
In another age, Christopher Lee might seem as odd as actors in blackface – he is the end of the great movie tradition of sacred monstersI know he’s 87, and possibly a little less than the 6ft 5in he once claimed, but when Her Majesty comes to knight Ch… Continue reading
With its explicit sex and scene of female genital mutilation, Lars von Trier’s Antichrist scandalised Cannes this year. Samantha Morton, Gillian Wearing and other women artists and academics give their opinion of the Danish director’s provocative new film
The opening title arrives as a provocation, a mission statement. “Lars von Trier,” it reads. “Antichrist.” At the Cannes film festival, where the film was unveiled in May, the audience responded with indulgent laughter. Over the years the international press has grown accustomed to the antics of the puckish Dane. This, after all, is the man who once dumped his festival prize in a dustbin, who dragged Nicole Kidman through the wringer in Dogville and provoked hoots of outrage when he won the Palme d’Or for his death row musical, Dancer In The Dark. And yet nothing – but nothing – could prepare us for the film that followed.
Antichrist opens, simultaneously, with a blaze of unsimulated sex and the death (simulated, one hopes) of a child, who topples from an upstairs window and cannons into the snow below. Bedevilled by guilt, his unnamed parents – He (Willem Dafoe) and She (Charlotte Gainsbourg) – retreat to a cabin in the woods called Eden. There, matters go from bad to worse. Oppressive Defoe winds up hobbled and impotent, while Gainsbourg runs clean off the rails and starts hacking at her own genitals with a pair of scissors. Sitting in the dark of the Cannes Palais, the audience yelped and howled and covered their eyes. Legend has it that at least four viewers fainted dead away in their seats.