Friday, October 16, 2009
Antichrist 2009 Revisited: chaos, increase!
It is a drama of confrontation and interaction distilled to the barest of essentials that the film tries to expose. There are three forces in apposition: He, She and It. The dead child is the burden of the past.
The civilised element dissolves rapidly in the distance from society and merges into the primeval cries of the forest. The jungle and its wild inhabitants are not passive elements but seem to be in a dynamic interaction with the human protagonists.
It is appropriately named Eden-perhaps Antieden would be right- for it's human population is just the two of them and the whole garden is theirs in which to love and hate. They are the highly educated products of a modern society and in that sense already traded their original innocence for a forbidden fruit.The widerness, as if it were in response, sends back ferocious echoes in the form of hellish animal symbols: the aborting doe, the disembowelled fox, the entombed crow.
The vestments of socialisation are quickly shorn. It is primitive man surrounded by a menacing jungle inhabited by fickle and blood thirsty dieties in animal form.
He has only intelligence to govern over his inner wilderness: the volcanoes, canyons and stormy seas of his soul. There is no law to follow, no faith to anchor on. There is no Christ. Hence it is the realm of pure nature, Antichrist.
Von Trier has probably made a very personal, autobiographical and very religious film. A mixture of genius, abnormal upbringing and the absense of anchors, religious or otherwise, himself a victim of depression, he has produced a difficult, powerful and layered statement about the depth of human need. It is a very troubled cry, this great film.