Brutal Antichrist a Torture-Porn Nightmare
It's von Trier's masterpiece, or misogynistic tripe
By Jason Farago, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2009 8:20 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Some critics call it a cinematic masterpiece, others say it's little more than a snuff film. But everyone agrees: Antichrist, the latest from Danish provocateur Lars von Trier, is unforgettable.

  • The film's scenes of brutal sex and violence are "undeniably shocking,"  writes Andrew O'Hehir of Salon, but Antichrist is loaded with "amazing ideas and images," plus two great performances from Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. It's further proof that "von Trier is one of the most accomplished cinema artists of our time."

  • Claudia Puig of USA Today is far less impressed: "Antichrist is probably the most disturbing, bleak and self-indulgent film ever made." Its "ultra-explicit" depictions of self-mutilation and torture make it "a particularly misogynistic torture-porn film"—not a psychological horror movie but "an incoherent hodgepodge."
  • Ty Burr splits the difference in the Boston Globe: "Can profound art be made from profound misogyny? Yes, but here’s the catch: It doesn’t make the artist’s terror of women any less pathetic."

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