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Antichrist

Discussion in 'Clad in Darkness' started by CladInDarkness, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    Since it seemed like Chris may have not been the only person interested in this film, I decided to post this here.

    I recommend giving this a quick read as it will point out of some the religious symbolism and a few other interesting points of view.

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/09/tiff_2_antichrist_redux.html

    Here is his final review: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091021/REVIEWS/910219990

    I'm not entirely sure what to make of the film, all I know is that it seems like a film that needs to be experienced. It left me slightly unsettled, but I'm not entirely sure why. I can say that many of the negative reviews of the film seem to attack the violence and sex in the film as gratuitous. I don't think that is the case. There are a couple of scenes that are a bit more graphic than normal mainstream audiences are used to seeing, but they are quite limited. What's worse though? Two very graphic scenes or a mainstream action film with non-stop deaths, explosions, murders, drug-use, etc. I don't feel it's gratuitous, I think gratuitous is Troma films, not Antichrist. Anyway, enjoy.

    The film by the way is dedicated to the great Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky.

    http://milledrive.com/videos/28883/Antichrist_2009_.html
     
  2. opeth_353

    opeth_353 Member

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    Take it most of you have seen the film? I definitely felt the hype and controversy over how violent it is was overblown or at least led me to believing it was far more extreme than I was expecting. I enjoyed it, pretty bleak and intense. I'd say Irreversible's 2 grimmest scenes are far harder to watch than any of the scenes in this.
     
  3. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    I think the lack of replies will tell you who has seen it :p
     
  4. JohnInDarkness

    JohnInDarkness Hello, my name is Sean.

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    I actually do want to watch this eventually.
     
  5. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    Though speaking of Irreversible, I don't remember being as affected watching it as Antichrist.
     
  6. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    What's stopping you?
     
  7. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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  8. JohnInDarkness

    JohnInDarkness Hello, my name is Sean.

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    I just hate watching movies on the computer.
     
  9. opeth_353

    opeth_353 Member

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    What? Seeing a bloke's face mashed in with a fire extinguisher until it's a red pulpy mess.. About 10 minutes in.. And a 9 minute rape and beating scene. That scene affected me more on its own than the whole of Antichrist. Guess they're both pretty fucking sinister though.
     
  10. BanginTheDead

    BanginTheDead Member

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    Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door is also a pretty brutal viewing. I've actually yet to watch Antichrist [though, getting a copy as I write this]. However, Dancer in the Dark is really moving and quite bleak, though more on a psychological level. That film just makes me hate people.
     
  11. opeth_353

    opeth_353 Member

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    Sounds like one I'll have to get me 'ands on, gor blimey.
     
  12. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    I guess in Irreversible's case it seemed more like a shtick if anything. 10 minutes of rape? It just seems overboard and much more gratuitous than anything in Antichrist. Rape is bad enough if it's a 30 second scene, I think you can get across the same message or feeling in a shorter amount of time than 10 minutes. I guess it didn't bother me so much, because I felt like it was being done more for the shock value of it.

    To be completely honest I didn't think Irreversible was that great of a film. The fire extinguisher scene, well large amounts of violence is nothing new in film. I could go watch any slasher flick and get the same thing, perhaps on a slightly lesser degree, but hey.

    I also think that with Irreversible it's very easy to understand. Alex is raped, there's a hunt for the man who did, and then the justification of bludgeoning him to death. It's a very typical type of story. You hear about rape in the news all the time. Antichrist on the other hand, isn't quite as easy to explain and because of that the violence in the film is more unsettling to me.
     
  13. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    Did you read the review I posted of Dancer in the Dark? You should if you haven't. There's a lot of reasoning in it that I had never even thought about at all. I really like Ebert as a critic. I might not always agree with him, but he almost always has intelligent things to say and has a vast pool of references to compare things to, whether it's life, history, politics, other mediums of art, he just has a wealth of knowledge.
     
  14. BanginTheDead

    BanginTheDead Member

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    The Girl Next Door may contain some very gratuitous material that may appear to be there for shock value. However, since it is based off of a true event, it makes it that much more real and disturbing.
     
  15. opeth_353

    opeth_353 Member

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    Haha well of course it's done for the shock value, and of course it could've been shorter.. Could've left out the rape scene altogether. But it's there, and clearly the director felt it was important enough for the story he was telling - seems he didn't want to leave it to imagination, but rather make it very clear precisely what occurred and very... ta da.. Shocking! It's a fairly integral part of the film, helps us understand the main character's relentless pursuit and fury and also provides a kick in the teeth when you realise 'OH SHEEEIT they mashed up the wrong dude anyway'.

    And whilst I do love mind fuck films, I wouldn't say being easy to understand is a drawback and if anything seems a bit snobbish. Irreversible, presented in chronological order would obviously still provide a punch but I do agree it wouldn't be as seemingly complex. I could go on about my interpretation of the point of the film, but meh.. If you didn't like it, so be it.

    I definitely feel Antichrist is the film I'll watch again first, but only really because of me not necessarily feeling I 'got' it all. That said, neither film will be one I rush back to. I'll save that spot for Lost Highway atm.


    So.. as we're filming it up.. David Lynch anyone?
     
  16. CladInDarkness

    CladInDarkness Under A Blackened Sky

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    Well...ta da... no shit! Do I think it needs to be left out? No. Do I understand that sometimes filmmakers deliberately use shocking images to show the brutality of a traumatic event? Yes. Do I understand that filmmakers show such things to help us sympathize with the other characters? Yes. Have similar things been done before, all of which are equally as disturbing? Sure. A Clockwork Orange, Man Bites Dog, etc. The scenes in those films are as equally poignant and as equally graphic, but they last much shorter. How many ways can you show rape to make it shocking? I think if you show one, that is graphic, it's going to be equally, if not more poignant if it's a minute as opposed to 10 minutes. You don't have to show it to me for 10 minutes for me to get it, for me to be repulsed, etc. That scene is gratuitous and being so long it actually loses much of it's desired effect. It riles up feelings, but then it just becomes a chore. It reaches a peak and has no where to go, but keeps on going that direction and ultimately ends up simply boring me. It's one thing to be shocking and another to just be senseless.

    To get back on track, we were discussing why which scenes unsettle me more than others and not why I like or dislike the film. My point was that I could understand the intentions of the characters in Irreversible. Someone wrongs someone you love, you want to seek revenge, it's a basic human response to a situation like that. I understand why Marcus seeks the Tapeworm. I can sympathize (up until the end) with him and understand that. Are the scenes hard to watch and do they bother me? Yes they are hard to watch, they're very violent. On the other hand there are scenes in Antichrist which are violent as well. The reason why they affect me more, is that I don't completely understand some of the actions that were done. It seems that the options of how She reacts to the death of their child is wide open. There are several routes that could be taken. To choose, by your own will and to carry through with mutilating your own genitals, to self-harm seems to me much harder to carry out than revenge. To harm someone you love, because you're grieving over the death of your child, does not seem justifiable in the same sense as seeking revenge on someone who has harmed someone you love. Then there are the reasons why it happens, of course their child dies. But why does she react one way than the other? The questions, the unknown, the little understanding causes me to be more unsettled and affected by Antichrist's scenes.

    As far as David Lynch is concerned, I don't like him. I find Eraserhead to be really boring and I've only gotten through half of Blue Velvet, which seems a lot more interesting than Eraserhead.
     
  17. opeth_353

    opeth_353 Member

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    That's a good point. Dafoe's knob smashing bit made me squirm more, probably just because I know how much getting hit in the nuts hurts let alone ... That ahaha. I assume the clit cutting scene didn't affect me as much as Irreversible's grimmest scenes in part due to it being her mutliating herself, whereas the others are brutal attacks. Rationalising the irrational is a tricky job, so yeh I see why you'd find it more disturbing. As for the length of it, again I see what you mean, but I guess this is just something for me.. It being longer made it 'worse' to me, felt more as if I was actually observing it in real life, although I'd probably have been like the person you see approach and then walk away. Ah subjectivity is sweet.

    My advice.. Watch all of Blue Velvet, then get onto Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive - I'd say they're his 2 best film, and 2 of my favourite films. Blue Velvet is less head fucky and more 'straight forward'. If you have a spare 3 hours to have your brains scrambled.. Try Inland Empire. I love Eraserhead, but it is hardly a film I could bang on at any time.. That baby is hella cute though.
     

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