Controversy sells. Most of the time.

It’s safe to say that Antichrist, the new film from Lars Von Trier, has been the sensation of Cannes ’09. It premiered to decidedly split opinion, and even many of the people who have very good things to say about the film cop to the fact that it may simply be shameless provocation. This is Von Trier we’re talking about. That’s not a surprise.

Regardless of the film’s real ‘quality’, it’s the movie that everyone is talking about. (And, in some cases, spoiling. A big ‘fuck you’ to NY Mag’s Vulture for running two headlines that spoil a big moment in the movie.) That buzz was enough to get IFC to take the plunge and buy the film for distribution in the US. [via IndieWire]

The big question: can they release it uncut? Based on what I’ve read, this seems like an NC-17 picture all the way. If IFC manages word of mouth properly, they can probably create an audience for the film, even without the traditional ad outlets that would be closed to an NC-17 picture. Can they do it without spoiling the movie? Probably not. If you already want to see the movie, you might want to stop reading anything about it that isn’t from a trusted source. Soon you’ll be reading more than you want to know.

“Since it premiered at Cannes on Monday, we haven’t been able to stop
talking or thinking about
Antichrist,” said IFC Entertainment
president Joanthan Sehring. “It is a towering work of
cinema by one its greatest directors.  We are incredibly excited to
bring this film to America and expect it to have a major impact on
audiences not only in America but worldwide.”

No release date has been mentioned yet. We’ll keep you posted on that; an appearance On Demand is very likely.

EDIT: One more note — the same company that posted a number of clips from Haneke’s The White Ribbon has some Antichrist clips online. I haven’t watched them, but you may want to.