Ebert on ‘Antichrist’

Posted by · 4:19 pm · May 17th, 2009

AntichristCuriouser and curiouser. Roger Ebert is clearly still processing Lars Von Trier’s latest crowd-terroriser, but there appears to be respect in his initial assessment:

Whether this is a bad, good or great film is entirely beside the point. It is an audacious spit in the eye of society. It says we harbor an undreamed-of capacity for evil. It transforms a psychological treatment into torture undreamed of in the dungeons of history. Torturers might have been capable of such actions, but they would have lacked the imagination. Von Trier is not so much making a film about violence as making a film to inflict violence upon us, perhaps as a salutary experience. It’s been reported that he suffered from depression during and after the film. You can tell. This is the most despairing film I’ve ever have seen.

What can be said is that von Trier, after what many found the agonizing boredom of his previous Cannes films “Dogville” and “Manderlay,” has made a film that is not boring. Unendurable, perhaps, but not boring. For relief I am looking forward to the overnight reviews of those who think they can explain exactly what it means. In this case, perhaps, a film should not mean, but be.

There is no film on the planet that I want to see more, right now, than “Antichrist.”

→ 19 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

19 responses so far

  • 1 5-17-2009 at 6:14 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    As much as I love Von Trier, I don’t think I can see this. There are some images I just don’t need in my brain. Call it “Salo Syndrome”.

  • 2 5-17-2009 at 6:24 pm

    Billyboy said...

    “There is no film on the planet that want to see more, right now, than “Antichrist.””

    Same here… Can’t freaking wait.

  • 3 5-17-2009 at 7:16 pm

    Speaking English said...

    There’s probably over 100 films I would like to see more. This sounds deplorable.

  • 4 5-17-2009 at 7:33 pm

    adelutza said...

    It’s immensely entertaining to read all these reviews that are coming out for “Antichrist”. Variety has the funniest one so far, clearly they didn’t like it.

  • 5 5-17-2009 at 7:48 pm

    R.J. said...

    Now I’m a bit apprehensive about the film, I knew it would push people’s buttons but I didn’t think it would go this far!

  • 6 5-17-2009 at 7:58 pm

    andrew said...

    I’m not sure I could stomach something Ebert refers to as “the most despairing film i’ve ever seen”

    Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark were major emotional ringers, but this sounds purely vile. I will wait out till there are more reviews before if I decided to see it or not.

  • 7 5-17-2009 at 8:17 pm

    Daniel said...

    ugh… so this is going to be a funny games kinda film?

  • 8 5-17-2009 at 8:29 pm

    R.J. said...

    Daniel, that’s the same exact vibe I got.

  • 9 5-17-2009 at 10:14 pm

    Katie said...

    I KNOW!! I’m dying of anticipppppation.

  • 10 5-17-2009 at 11:28 pm

    red_wine said...

    Sort of praise.
    Corliss really likes the first half though thinks the 2nd half goes too far.

    More praise

  • 11 5-18-2009 at 1:49 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    It’s gonna win. Mark my words. And it will be his biggest commercial success.

  • 12 5-18-2009 at 4:45 am

    William said...

    Was not able to get in but word of mouth is spilt down the extreme middle from the people i have spoken to who have seen it. Some thought that it was disgusting and inhumane others thought that it was genius. It got people’s attention aright and that could work in its favor.

  • 13 5-18-2009 at 10:11 am

    /3rtfu11 said...

    The talking animals is enough for me to want to see this movie.

  • 14 5-18-2009 at 1:31 pm

    entertainmenttoday.. said...

    All this talk – bad or good makes me want to see this film.


  • 15 5-18-2009 at 1:45 pm

    vladdy said...

    Odd how many people (probably not all, but majority male? just an educated guess) use phrases like “can’t wait!,’ “awesome!” and “must see!” when the main point of early reviews is the disgust in seeing women’s genitals cut off.The pervasive, underlying emotion in these comments is a sexually tense kind of excitement. Have we, as a species, really come to this?

  • 16 5-18-2009 at 1:47 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    That’s a pathetic shot.

    Controversy generates excitement. It doesn’t take a psychology degree to figure that out.

  • 17 5-18-2009 at 2:19 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Vladdy, if you think the main point of early reviews is the genitals scene, then it’s you who is missing the point.

  • 18 5-18-2009 at 6:43 pm

    jess said...

    Just because the majority of American critics find Dogville “boring” doesnt’ mean it is, Mr Ebert.

    Thank God for the Europeans !

  • 19 7-20-2009 at 3:12 am

    Yuz said...

    A culture gasps its last breaths. Death to the West. We own your future.