First of all, this isn’t your mother’s Antichrist. You are. Don’t blame (or thank) her, though — we’re dealing with a curse that goes back a ways; maybe, in fact, all the way back to — holy smoke — The Beginning. We’re in Eden, or Anti-Eden, where everything is always being born for the first time, but it’s all being born dead.
A creatively resurgent Lars von Trier had a theology scholar on staff for the making of this film, along with a mythology scholar, a researcher in misogyny, and a pair of actors willing to sacrifice their genitals on the altar of Art. (I expect they grew new ones.) ANTICHRIST is dread-addled cosmic horror even when — especially when — it’s also body horror; its world, its wood, visibly swoons and buckles with uncanny, queasy-making menace, and as we move through it we share Charlotte Gainsbourg’s unnamed character’s hushed, halted awe.
As much as and perhaps more than any of his other films, with ANTICHRIST von Trier crafted a conversation piece. Probably not a polite conversation. Unless you choose to shrug it off as pretentious shock-mongering — torture-porn swaddled in the design aesthetic of Calvin Klein or possibly Arno Breker — you’re going to come out of the theatre eager to argue — about the film’s theology, for example, or its mythology, or, unavoidably, its relation to misogyny. Love it or hate it, ANTICHRIST is alive, sweeping carrion and beggars aside, scrambling for the open window.
2/16 – 1PM
2/21 – 4:30PM
Museum of Fine Arts
Remis Auditorium, 161
$7 MFA members, seniors, and students // $8 nonmembers