Antichrist: Shock movie comes to Miami

Finally, after hearing about Lars Von Trier’s latest movie since it’s inflammatory reception at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Antichrist will open in Miami. Not surprisingly, it won’t be at one of our regular multiplexes (I think full-frontal genital mutilation would deem this unfit for even an R rating) . Unfortunately, that means no 35 mm presentation. It will play at the University of Miami’s reliable little art house, the Bill Cosford Cinema. Showtimes here, for any interested (and let me know if you go with a comment below!). See what you are in for with this HD trailer (it is seriously just a taste):
I love and hate films that shock and abuse the audience, and this one sounds designed to do just that. At the start of the Cannes press conference with Von Trier and the two actors, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe, a journalist set the tone with the pointed demand that Von Trier justify the making of such a film (you can watch the full conference here. The confrontation between the director and the journalist begins about 3 minutes in), and so began my interest in the movie.

I am familiar with Von Trier’s work in a sporadic way. I loved Breaking the Waves. It had an intense power behind the story. I felt insulted by Dancer in the Dark when I saw it in the theaters, but have come to appreciate it over the years. I have not seen many of his films (I own Europa on DVD, but have yet to watch it), but my curiosity in his latest work is beyond any interest in the Von Trier catalog.

I hated Requiem For a Dream when I first saw, but slowly grew fond of it after repeated viewings. I met director Darren Aronofsky at a press screening for The Wrestler and told him about my response to the movie, and he said, “That just means you’re normal.”

I also had the privilege to see Irreversible with Director Gasper Noe present at the Miami Film Festival a few years back. I have not forgiven him, however. I thought the film was pure malice toward the audience and a gimmicky, hackneyed job to top it off, and I thought the young fans fawning over his work and feeding his ego at the screening were a bunch of robot drones with stunted emotions.

Not too long ago, I sat through Taxidermia, a Hungarian movie that played at the Cosford this past month. It dwelled on bodily functions in practically every other scene. Then it ended with a close-up of a self-evisceration and taxidermy that felt like it went on for 10 minutes (it may have been longer). That movie is still stewing in my mind before I can give it any kind of credit or just dismiss it, but I hear the director, György Pálfi, is being considered for directing a Hollywood film already.

Either way, movies that shock and disturb have inspired me to think and pass judgement on their qualities either way, and I look forward to offering a thoughtful commentary on Antichrist over the weekend. The fact that the film has so far scored a 50% on the Rotten Tomatoes website is telling on how divided the audience is on this latest work by Von Trier.

(Copyright 2009 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


  1. It sounds interesting… but I choose not to be disturbed, regardless of how intriguing Antichrist may be. I’d rather a feel-good movie to get me in the mood for the festive season.


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