Ebert on von Trier’s Antichrist, screening Monday at River East 21 as part of the Chicago International Film Festival: “Von Trier’s original intention, it’s said, was to reveal at the end that the world was created by Satan, not God: That evil, not goodness, reigns ascendant. His finished film reflects the same idea, but not as explicitly. The title Antichrist is the key. This is a mirror world. It is a sin to lose Knowledge rather than to eat of its fruit and gain it.”
J.R. Jones on the same: “If you’re easily cowed by that sort of thing, then this is a masterpiece exposing the divide between human intellect (equated here with male oppression) and nature (defined as ‘Satan’s church’); if you’re not, then it’s a grisly fuckfest with a library card…. I can’t deny this is filled with powerfully primal images, but at least one of them—an eviscerated fox that bellows at Dafoe, ‘Chaos reigns!”‘—made me burst out laughing.”
Weirdly, that last sentence makes me sort of want to see it more than Ebert’s eloquent, thoughtful review. But I’ll probably end up skipping it – gunshy after Dogville – and seeing Cropsey instead.
Update: Oh, and John Woo’s historical epic Red Cliff, which gets a recommendation.