Lots of high-profile films are debuting at Cannes this year, and so far only Pixar’s “Up” and Lee Daniels’ “Precious” have gotten standing ovations and rave follow-up reviews. Also, “Kinatay” is being called the worst film in the festival’s history, even out-doing Vincent Gallo’s “The Brown Bunny” from a few years ago (If you haven’t seen this, it’s basically Gallo driving for over an hour and then getting a blow job in a hotel room, then the film ends).
Earlier today, one of my most anticipated of the year, “Antichrist” screened to boos, applause, laughter, and all kinds of other reactions. As expected from Von Trier, the film is simultaneously receiving rave reviews (link here) while also being completed assassinated by other critics. Jeff Wells writes:
“Easily one of the biggest debacles in Cannes Film Festival history and the complete meltdown of a major film artist in a way that invites comparison to the sinking of the Titanic … It’s an out-and-out disaster — one of the most absurdly on-the-nose, heavy-handed and unintentionally comedic calamities I’ve ever seen in my life. On top of which it’s dedicated to the late Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, whose rotted and decomposed body is now quite possibly clawing its way out of the grave to stalk the earth, find an axe and slay Von Trier in his bed.”
Meanwhile, other critics are calling it his best since his “Breaking the Waves” masterpiece from ’96. Since “Dancer in the Dark” (which I also think is amazing) got just as mixed of a reaction as “Antichrist,” I’m more excited than ever. Nobody ever leaves a Von Trier movie shrugging or thinking it was just mediocre, they usually either passionately hate it or think it’s a flat out masterpiece. I almost always fall into the latter category, so I’m pretty pumped. At the very least, we know it’s going to be something completely original.
Later in the week Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus,” and Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon,” will screen, among many others. Tons of excitement ahead.