The always-provocative Lars Von Trier unveiled his latest film, Antichrist, at the Cannes Film Festival today, and the reaction was volcanic.
According to a report by Reuters, the movie, about a married couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) mourning the death of their child, elicited "derisive laughter, gasps of disbelief, a smattering of applause and loud boos."
Austin 360's Charles Ealy, who compares the violence in the film to Gaspar Noe's Irreversible (yikes!), claims Von Trier "has made a movie that looks like it will be more controversial than anything he’s ever done, and that’s saying quite a bit."
Entertainment Weekly called it "one good-looking, publicity-grabbing provocation, with an overlay of pseudo-Christian allegory thrown in to deflect a reasonable person's accusations of misogyny." Canada's Globe and Mail describes the movie "as if Don't Look Now took a huge hit of peyote and moved to the mountains."
And Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells is calling the screening "one of the biggest debacles in Cannes Film Festival history and the complete meltdown of a major film artist."
I don't know about you, but I'd buy a ticket to see that. It'll be fun to read the Monday morning Antichrist reviews that are being written right at this moment. Here's the trailer for the film:
UPDATE: Here's Todd McCarthy's spoiler-ridden review of Antichrist in Variety. "Lars Von Trier cuts a big fat art-film fart with Antichrist... this may prove a great date movie for pain-is-pleasure couples." Tee-hee.
And here's Roger Ebert weighing in: "What can be said is that von Trier, after what many found the agonizing boredom of his previous Cannes films Dogville and Manderlay, has made a film that is not boring. Unendurable, perhaps, but not boring."