Sunday, November 22, 2009

Antichrist review on Cinemascape on Eastside 89.7 FM

Last week on Cinemascape on Eastside 89.7 FM I reviewed Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist. There are few films in recent memory that can match the harrowing experience of sitting in a theatre and watching Von Trier’s bloody, nauseating, disturbing nightmare. The director has claimed that the film was a guttural outpouring that screamed from his body after a period of deep depression and after watching the film clear almost half the audience at the screening I attended you do have to worry about the mental state of the director.

Telling the story of a couple who are traumatized by the death of their young child the film who dies while the couple are having sex. She, an amazing performance by Charlotte Gainsbourg, is grief stricken beyond belief. Her child killed as she was experiencing exquisite pleasure. He, played by Willem Dafoe, a physiologist by trade, takes his wife to a woodlands cottage, the place she is most terrified of to try and help her deal with the dark demons that have now overwhelmed her life.

The visuals are stunning from the over indulgent, black and white, slow motion operatic opening to the breathtaking creepy woodlands; this is one of the most visually beautiful films seen this year. This beauty, however, will be overshadowed by the unflinchingly grotesque denouement as the couples already fragile relationship turns to violence and self mutilation. For this reason Antichrist remains a very hard film to recommend. While it is a bravura piece of film making recalling Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible and Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession in terms of the effect sickening imagery; Von Trier pushes boundaries rarely scene and in one particular moment gives us a sickening cinematic first. Approach with caution, anyone easily offended stay away but if you are fascinated by cinema that takes it’s audience to the emotional limit, Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist is an extraordinary experience.

Monday, November 02, 2009

News update

Here's long overdue update of what has been happening over the last month or so. I was lucky to hit the red carpet for the Australian premiere of Couples Retreat and grabbed a few words with director Peter Billingsley and two of the films stars Kristen Bell and Jason Bateman. The full report appears at

My interview with Steven Sheil, the director of the deliciously grim Mum and Dad appears at as part of my regular blog. The festival team are currently running the inaugural Fantastic Planet Science Fiction Festival in Syndey. I'll be interviewing one of the festivals international guests Kurando Mitsukake, the director of Samurai Avenger: Blind Wolf.

Publication wise I have a large feature on the making of the Ozpolitation classic Turkey Shoot appearing soon in issue #162, my set report on the making of the Spierig brothers forthcoming Aussie vampire film Daybreakers will feature soon in Filmink and my first Top Ten has recently appeared at Rotten Tomatoes with a look at the Top Ten Angels and Demons in movies. Also check out the new look for my cult DVD reviews.