2009. Denmark/Germany/France/Sweden/Italy/Poland. Lars von Trier. 104 min.
Sunday, January 10, 2010, 2:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
2009. Denmark/Germany/France/Sweden/Italy/Poland. Written and Directed by Lars von Trier. With Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe. Featuring terrifically fearless and unselfconscious performances by Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg (who was named Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival) Antichrist is Von Trier’s take on the horror genre, as seen through the looking glass of the fellow Scandinavians Ingmar Bergman and August Strindberg. Unapologetically working from his self-professed severe depression and delving into his own fear of "the other," Von Trier installs a man and a woman, named only "He" and "She," in a cabin in the woods and lets nature have its way with them. Eden becomes Hell and nothing is as it seems as they battle each other and their guilt and grief over the death of their toddler son. A fairy tale of the most terrifying sort, it’s expressly not for children or the faint at heart; scenes are announced with chapter headings like “Pain,” “Despair,” and “Grief.” At one point a fox, its guts spilling out, blithely intones, “Chaos reigns.” And so it does, but not in the sumptuously beautiful cinematography, superb sound design, and a tightly controlled mise-en-scene that transforms a nightmare into utterly absorbing cinema. An IFC release. 104 min.