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 Post subject: Lars Von Trier shocker
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:48 am 
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Semi amusing media hysteria from UK's Telegraph. Von Trier stands very high in my estimation. Antichrist sounds another chararacteristically bold project. Not sure I could sit through Campion and Keats without fidgeting though..



Cannes 2009: Antichrist horror film headed for Britain

The most shocking film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival is heading for cinema release in Britain, where distributors will attempt to convince the censors that its scenes of torture and pornography should be shown in their entirety.

Antichrist, the latest offering from the controversial Danish director Lars Von Trier, elicited responses ranging from revulsion to derision when it was shown to critics in Cannes.

The psychological horror film opens with a young child falling to his death through an open window whilst his oblivious parents, played by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, have sex nearby in graphically-shot scenes.

The grieving couple retreat to Eden, their cabin in the woods, where the woman becomes increasingly unhinged. In the final quarter of the film, she takes revenge of the most gruesome kind against her husband, including boring a hole through his leg in scenes of medieval-like torture.

The most offensive sequence, which had critics gasping in disbelief, sees Gainsbourg's character performing an act of genital self-multilation with a pair of scissors.

[Note: storage of stills from this controversial film, even when it is passed by the BBFC, may now fall foul of UK's barmy 'Dangerous Pictures' Act}

When distributors expressed fears that the film would not be granted a release in their home countries, the producers said offered an alternative cut - which they described as a "good Catholic version" - with four extreme sequences excised.

However, the UK distributor which snapped up the rights, Artificial Eye, is determined that Von Trier's original cut be shown.

"We will be submitting the film for classification in its current form," a spokesman for the company said. "We can't comment on how the British Board of Film Classification will respond, but we are keen for Antichrist to be seen as the director intends.

"We absolutely think the film has good commercial prospects here in the UK. It has polarised the opinions of the critics in Cannes and this has ensured a 'must see' buzz that we can capitalise on for our release."

Richard Napper, chief operation officer for Artificial Eye, added: "We bought Antichrist because it is a compelling film by a brilliant film director. Lars Von Trier has delved into the darkest depths of the human psyche and created a film of compelling power."

The distributor intends to release the film towards the end of the year. While some critics praised the director's vision, the majority were appalled and Von Trier was booed when he attended the post-screening press conference, something which is unheard of in Cannes where film-makers are given reverential treatment.

Reviews called the film "an abomination" and "gross-out gruesome", while one Hollywood critic declared that Antichrist represented "easily one of the biggest debacles in Cannes Film Festival history and the complete meltdown of a major film artist in a way that invites comparisons to the sinking of the Titanic".

Von Trier, who won the Palme d'Or in 2000 with Dancer In The Dark, made Antichrist whilst suffering from depression. The film offers "a glimpse into the dark world of my imagination", he explained, adding that writing the screenplay "was a kind of therapy... the script was finished and filmed without much enthusiasm, made as it was using about half of my physical and intellectual capacity".

Challenged to justify the film, he refused, saying only that he was guided by "the hand of God" and proclaiming himself "the best director in the world".

He has courted controversy throughout his career - his 2004 film Dogville starred Nicole Kidman as a woman on the run who is abused and repeatedly raped by the townspeople who provide her with shelter.

Gainsbourg, the daughter of British actress Jane Birkin and French singer Serge Gainsbourg, defended Von Trier against the accusation that his films exploit women. "He is depicting women of course with violence and very hard sex and pain and suffering, but I don't think that he is judging women in a negative way," she said.

The 37-year-old actress said she drew the line at only one of Von Trier's scenes, which involved her being witness to hardcore pornography. "I'm not a prude at all but after that I took a step back," she said. The scene was left on the cutting room floor.

The BBFC has a history of allowing controversial arthouse films to be shown in their entirety. In 2002, the organisation attracted criticism for granting an 18 certificate to another Cannes offering, Gaspar NoƩ's Irreversible. It featured a nine-minute rape scene so graphic that dozens of female critics walked out of its debut screening.

Antichrist is one of 20 films in contention for the Palme d'Or prize, which will be announced tonight.

Given its critical reception in Cannes, it is unlikely to win, although Gainsbourg's brave performance could earn her the best actress award.

One British film is leading the race: Bright Star, Jane Campion's depiction of the love affair between the Romantic poet John Keats and his young neighbour Fanny Brawne. Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces and A Prophet by Jacques Audiard are also front-runners.

Cannes' favourite son, Quentin Tarantino, is in contention with Inglourious Basterds, his lovingly crafted Second World War movie inspired by The Dirty Dozen and starring Brad Pitt as a US army lieutenant who recruits a band of Jewish-American soldiers for a mission in Nazi-occupied France.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film ... itain.html

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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Interesting, thanks Richard.

I know you have credited this to the Telegraph with a link but are there any copyright implications to posting a whole article here without permission? Does anyone know?

It was written by Anita Singh the Telegraph's Showbusiness Editor,


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 1:58 pm 
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Roy wrote:
Interesting, thanks Richard.

I know you have credited this to the Telegraph with a link but are there any copyright implications to posting a whole article here without permission? Does anyone know?

It was written by Anita Singh the Telegraph's Showbusiness Editor,


well I guess there are implications in theory but convention on the web is to fully credit the source. I doubt if they will hound me through the courts for the extra exposure, if I am directing people to their site. There is no loss of revenue involved after all.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Apparently, the film has been passed uncut... probably wait for dvd.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:23 pm 
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pendragon wrote:
Apparently, the film has been passed uncut


Hmm... I wonder is any local councils will ban it?
:roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:06 pm 
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Tony wrote:
pendragon wrote:
Apparently, the film has been passed uncut


Hmm... I wonder is any local councils will ban it?
:roll:


Well, Swansea and Aberystwyth banned Life of Brian...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:46 am 
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pendragon wrote:
Tony wrote:
pendragon wrote:
Apparently, the film has been passed uncut


Hmm... I wonder is any local councils will ban it?
:roll:


Well, Swansea and Aberystwyth banned Life of Brian...


Eric Idle wondered what the world was coming to when Swansea formally unbanned it after twenty-odd years.

Antichrist is very much an arthouse film, and I can't see many multiplexes programming it against Harry Potter 6. It opens when I'm away on holiday, but as Lars Von Trier is one of the cinema's most challenging and consistently interesting, I do intend to see it myself, probably on its second weekend.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:52 pm 
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GaryC wrote:
Antichrist is very much an arthouse film, and I can't see many multiplexes programming it against Harry Potter 6. It opens when I'm away on holiday, but as Lars Von Trier is one of the cinema's most challenging and consistently interesting, I do intend to see it myself, probably on its second weekend.


Laughed? I almost hit my genitals with a concrete slab after reading this article in The Sun.

Family newspaper? You 'avin' a laff, aincha?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:10 am 
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John Carey in the Sunday Times didn't like it very much, and wondered what the purpose of the film classification board was if it could pass this one without edits. I seldom agree with Carey about anything, but if his representation is at all accurate it does sound like little more than a vacuous attempt to shock.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:29 pm 
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The purpose of a classification board is to classify, not to cut, unless a film contains material that violates UK law. And as this film doesn't, there's nothing to cut given that it wouldn't have received any certificate lower than 18 anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:25 pm 
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I saw this last Saturday. Above everything else, it reminded me a lot of Ingmar Bergman, in subject matter and theme at least. The film's ideas that heterosexual relationships are a battleground between two conflicting genders is pure Bergman (and through him to Strindberg). The film technique - handheld HD - is pure Von Trier though.

While I'll commend the acting - Dafoe and Gainsbourg give two very committed and extreme performances - I found it overwrought and the Bergman comparison doesn't do Antichrist any favours. The now-notorious self-mutilation shot (which you would miss if you blinked) I watched without batting an eyelid - a similar though much less explicit scene in Cries and Whispers had me cringing in my seat.

I don't doubt Antichrist is sincerely made - and Von Trier is a natural provocateur to begin with - but it's far from his best work. All the fuss will do is encourage people who wouldn't have seen it anyway to go and be bored by an hour and a quarter of psychodrama before they get to the graphic stuff (apart from a brief hardcore shot in the opening sequence).


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