October 20th, 2009

library: Phillies monkey

Phils and Lars (slight spoilers for Antichrist)

Wow, what a great ninth inning, eh? Love it, love it, love it! My neighborhood just about exploded when Rollins hit that ball. Five more wins to go!

So the first movie I saw for this fall's mini-film festival was Antichrist by Lars von Trier. Although I'm used to his films being harrowing experiences, this is probably the first horror film I've seen (by any director) where the horror ran the gamut of psychological, emotional, and physical. It's pretty intense stuff most of the time and yet oddly silly at others.

Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a woman struggling to cope with the death of her young son. Willem Dafoe plays her husband, a therapist who feels that his wife's psychiatrist is hindering her grieving process. He convinces her to stop taking her meds and and confront the feelings she's hiding from at the place she fears most, a cabin in the woods where she spent the previous summer with her son while she wrote her thesis on gynocide. Of course, instead of the productive catharsis he was was hoping for, he finds out that she is far more mentally unhinged than he ever suspected.

What happens from there is best left unsaid, except to say that you're pretty much guaranteed to be disturbed. And if you don't find yourself clutching parts of your body in sympathetic horror (be you man or woman), I would be much surprised. While it's not a must see, it is a very interesting experience. I think those interested in therapy and gender studies will especially find issues to hotly debate and/or be infuriated about.