Antichrist Shocks Cannes

Controversial film drew gasps, boos
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2009 8:14 AM CDT
Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg pose during a photo call for the film 'Antichrist', during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern France, May 18, 2009.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
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(Newser) – Lars von Trier’s Antichrist quickly became the most talked-about film at Cannes, eliciting audience reactions that ran the gamut from laughter to applause to boos at its screening last night, Reuters reports. The film, which one critic called “offensive,” features graphic sexual mutilation and a talking fox, among other questionable elements. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg star as a couple who go to a remote cabin to wrestle with the grief of losing their only child.

“I can offer no excuse for Antichrist other than my absolute belief in the film—the most important film of my entire career,” said von Trier, who called it a “kind of therapy” for the depression he suffered two years ago.