Sunday, July 26, 2009

648 : Lars von Trier in FT.com

Who the F is Lars Von Trier?

Welcome the dark brave world of darker movies. He has previously made “The Idiots”, “Dogville” and now “AntiChrist”.

Why are we talking about him?

1. He is from the “dark” side (not in a noir sense, but in a “real” sense). He sees “grief” as more overbearing than the “joy” at life. (and the connection with “me” is…well, forget it, save that for another post).
2. His views exactly echo a few of mine. (We all like our mirror images…at least I do)…..
3. If I do get a chance, will buy”Antichrist” on DVD.

 

Excerpts from the interview at Ft.com ….

But there are, admittedly, few laughs in Antichrist. The film opens with a couple (Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe) making love while their neglected toddler son slips and falls out of a window to his death. They retreat to a cabin in the woods to help them overcome their grief but nature, in its wildest and most primeval form, has the opposite effect: the couple attempt, in graphic and horrific detail, to destroy each other.

Forget the bloody mutilations, I say. As the father of a young son, it is the first 10 minutes that are the most unbearable to watch. “Yes,” he nods. “I have four children. You think that the more that you have, the easier it gets but that is not how it is. You worry more and more.”

So it is a film primarily about the intensity of grief? He bridles. He has publicly admitted that the work was born of depression and is reluctant to talk about it in any other terms than as a dream-like expression of “deep anxieties”. Was it at least cathartic for him? “The only thing I know is that the practice of making the film was good for me. I wrote it really quickly just to do something instead of lying down looking at the wall. I didn’t really care for it while I was making it. I care for it now.”

I say the film is relentlessly bleak but he demurs. “If you know a little about cognitive therapy, which I have undergone for two years, the way it is written about in the film is quite sarcastic. He [the therapist played by Dafoe] is a very rational man, and one of the jokes is that as a therapist you would, typically, say that anxieties are never real: they are only thoughts. But this film shows the opposite – the more thoughts you have, the more they can become real.”

and elsewhere…

ask what his future plans are. “Nothing,” he replies with foreboding. “I am taking some time off, which I am very bad at. All your psychic problems tend to explode when you do nothing.” Does he ever come to London. “Yes, but I am terrible on ships.” There is a tunnel, I say. “No, I couldn’t do that. Do you do that?” I confess a little guiltily that I have no problem with any form of transport whatsoever. “I would have to have a lot of therapy before I did that. I like to stay at home.”

He calls me a taxi and leads me out, past a well-kept vegetable garden. I express my admiration and we stop for a moment. “It is very fascistic, he says. “You take out the weak and the strong remain. It’s like ethnic cleansing.”

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