There is a gauzy, uncertain look to the photography in Antichrist, the new film from Lars Von Trier, that I like quite a lot. We’re seeing it for the first time in the debut trailer, which gives some hint about what befalls emotionally damaged couple Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg when they retreat to Eden, their forest cabin. “Nature is Satan’s church…you shouldn’t underestimate Eden,” Gainsbourg says.
The two will reportedly face their fear as it comes incarnated by animals and nature, as that dialogue suggests. Which, if Von Trier has succeeded, could be a primal, ugly thing.
But when you get down to it, a lot of this trailer is unexpectedly conventional. Is this a way of selling an unusual film starring two people most audiences only occasionally care about (it’s a pretty specific, and GOOD, audience that sees these two and says ‘I’m there!’) or has Lars Von Trier actually made a commercial movie that will be difficult to distinguish from a lot of other jump-cut horror?
Incidentally, Jeff Wells has a nice little piece on the origin (or the supposed origin) of the tree root shot, which he suggests is based on a scene from the 1935 version of Dante’s Inferno.