ROGER EBERT BLOGS ANTICHRIST, another fun-filled romp by Lars von Trier, aka crazy man. (I believe von Trier and Werner Herzog compete for that title year to year.) I only read the beginnings of these Ebert posts, but will return to them if I ever actually get around to seeing the movie, which I’ve naturally become a teensy bit wary of, considering it’s being described as a mildly traumatic life experience. Here’s Ebert after the premiere at Cannes:
There’s electricity in the air. Every seat is filled, even the little fold-down seats at the end of every row. It is the first screening of Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist,” and we are ready for anything. We’d better be. Von Trier’s film goes beyond malevolence into the monstrous. Never before have a man and woman inflicted more pain upon each other in a movie. We looked in disbelief. There were piteous groans. Sometimes a voice would cry out, “No!” At certain moments there was nervous laughter. When it was all over, we staggered up the aisles. Manohla Dargis, the merry film critic of The New York Times, confided that she left softly singing “That’s Entertainment!”
If, as they say, you are not prepared for “disturbing images,” I advise you to just just stop reading now….
And then his follow-up two days later:
Lars von Trier’s new film will not leave me alone. A day after many members of the audience recoiled at its first Cannes showing, “Antichrist” is brewing a scandal here; I am reminded of the tumult following the 1976 premiere of Oshima’s “In the Realm of the Senses” and its castration scene. I said I was looking forward to von Trier’s overnight reviews, and I haven’t been disappointed. Those who thought it was good thought it was very very good (“Something completely bizarre, massively uncommercial and strangely perfect”— Damon Wise, Empire) and those who thought it was bad found it horrid (“Lars von Trier cuts a big fat art-film fart with ‘Antichrist'” — Todd McCarthy, Variety).
Enough time has passed since I saw the film for me to process my visceral reaction, and take a few steps back….
All this before an actual review.