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Tag: Antichrist (1-2 of 2)

'Antichrist': Why Lars von Trier's latest fake outrage was made for, and only for, the Cannes film festival

In the world of cinema, there are many precious accolades — an Academy Award, a rating of 100 percent fresh on rottentomatoes.com — but few can match the sexy frisson of that most glittering of distinctions: getting booed at the Cannes film festival. Any old drama can win universal acclaim, especially if it’s set in the back alleys of Romania during the waning days of Communist rule. But to get booed at Cannes…that’s a venerable prize indeed. It signifies that you’ve made something fearless, wrenchingly divisive, ahead-of-the-cutting-edge, maybe even visionary in its disregard for the staid old status quo. It means that you’ve made a movie the bourgeoisie can’t handle. In case you don’t believe me, just check out this image from Lars von Trier’s Antichrist

Antichrist_lHave you recovered from the shock yet? You may think I’m kidding about all this, but there’s a time-honored tradition of movies that get booed at Cannes and then go on to win a reputation as timeless, subversive works. The most famous is probably L’Avventura. In 1960, the crowd on the Riviera didn’t know what to make of Michelangelo Antonioni’s grandly arid and despairing anti-thriller, and so they booed its slowness, its joyless decadence, its mirror held up so pointedly to…well, them. But the film was soon recognized — rightly — as a kind of masterpiece of disaffection, and the memory of those early catcalls only added to its austere luster. Great works, of course, have been hissed and booed throughout history. The most famous example in our time is the first performance of The Rite of Spring in 1913, which caused a riot (though I’ve always found it hard to picture what, exactly, fancy Paris men in top hats and tails engaging in the act of rioting would actually look like). Pauline Kael evoked The Rite of Spring‘s premiere when she wrote about the world’s first showing of Last Tango in Paris at the 1972  New York Film Festival — a movie event that provoked, if not boos, then (according to Kael) a hush that was deafening in its lack of enthusiasm. READ FULL STORY

'The Godfather 2': Movies I watch and watch again

Maybe it’s because The Godfather 2 seems to be playing on cable TV in a loop for all eternity–but I realized the other day that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard Michael Corleone say to his brother, “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.” Not that I mind: There’s a profound comfort in re-watching a movie you love, even though (or maybe because) the scenes have worn grooves in your consciousness. My list of most-watched titles includes Casablanca, Citizen Kane, All About Eve, the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup, and, for reasons I can’t fathom but just accept, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. And Fellini’s Amarcord. Hmm, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And Truly, Madly, Deeply, of course, even though some of my more austere critic friends roll their eyes when I say so. READ FULL STORY

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