As far as I am concerned, it is hard to decide whether Lars Von Trier is a genius or a freak. Don't get me wrong, I have a huge respect for him as an artist. I believe, nowadays, he is one of a very few directors who make art. At least that was my opinion after seeing Nymphomaniac, to which I keep coming back and I am still amazed with its artistic aspect. However, never before have I heard a director unwilling to answer any of the questions of his interviewees about his own movie. It seems like he has created something just to create something or, as he said, just to get out of bed. Antichrist is indeed very artistic, throughout the use of stunning images and its psychological depth, but I am not entirely sure about the movie itself. To me it pushes the boundaries a little bit too far. When I was watching the movie I really wanted to look into the symbolism and a deeper meaning of it, but now that I have done some reading, I am not sure if there is any meaning to it. As Von Trier admits himself, the movie is the outcome of images he saw in his head in times of depression. He wrote whatever came to his mind, that could have got him out of bed.
According to Lars Von Tier, it is not made for the audience, it is made for the artist himself. Even though this theory denies everything I have learned so far, I do understand his point of view and it unfortunately is something I also struggle to divest myself of. In one of the interviews the director said he hasn't been thinking about how the audience will react or understand things cause he made the movie for himself. And this is clearly what Antichrist represents. It is a picture of director's psyche in a period of depression, which Von Tier suffered from at the time. It is inexplicable. Not necessarily understandable to himself. A movie, which was written as a reason to get out of bed, cannot really be understood. Therefore, there is no point of looking into it. However, it can be interpreted in many ways by individuals, possibly mostly by people who have any idea about depression, psychological pain and grief. Having said that, when writing about Antichrist, I would like to focus on the movie as an individual instead of a part of director's oeuvre. There obviously are visible connections between Lars Von Trier's movies (example below) but let me leave that subject for another time.
Antichrist is divided into a prologue, four chapters (grief, pain, despair, the three baggers) and epilogue. The intriguing, black and white, prologue of the movie attracts audiences attention with marvellous images and a beautiful classical music in the background. Two main characters are presented in a very controversial sex sequence, in the meantime we see their son jumping out of the window. The images put together show contrast between pleasure and cruelty in the world. Lars reveals a huge power of uncontrollable human nature that in this case leads to a tragedy - a little boy's death.
"BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M AFRAID OF.
Above the couple, the main character of the movie is nature itself. It is a metaphor for everything that surrounds us - "I'm nature. All things you call nature. The nature of all human beings." Nature terrifies them and it is shown in a particularly scary way but it is significant to the story. I am a firm believer in symbolism hidden in movies, which is why when watching the movie I looked forward to doing some reading about the mysterious creatures and some reasoning for putting The Three Baggers in the movie. What I found out is that apparently it has nothing to do with symbolism of any kind. It is just another interesting element of director's imagination.
- Grief, pain, and suffering
- The beggars in Russian folklore who, like Christ, offer wisdom and compassion through suffering
- The Three Kings, heralding death in Antichrist the way they herald birth in the Christ story
- The id, ego and superego (subconscious states of the mind from Freud)
- These animals represent, then, the woman's tacit philosophical acceptance of her "evil" sisterhood: so-called "pagan witches" who danced and prayed by moonlight in the forests; who controlled familiars (animals), and who -- their powers joined -- could make the sleet fall.
- Roger Ebert has a saying: “If you have to ask what something symbolizes, it doesn’t.”
"WHERE THREE BAGGERS ARRIVE SOMEONE MUST DIE."
BEHIND THE SCENES
EXPLORING BEACHY HEAD
EXPLORING SAN FRANCISCO
EXPLORING THE STATES
I HAVE WRITTEN IT HERE FOR YOU_
NEW RENAISSANCE FILM FESTIVAL
RED BAND (2017)
THE UNFORTUNATE FATE OF FELIX HILL (2017)
URGENT CARE (2017)