The Misogyny of Lars Von Trier’s AntiChrist

August 5, 2009

Just saw Von Trier’s AntiChrist, probably the greatest film about Misogyny ever made. The women (She) deforms and allows her own kid to fall from an apartment window, then cuts off her own clit after torturing her husband, when he finds out the truth about her psychotic ways. Don’t let film critic wankers over intellectualize this movie, the truth of AntiChrist is staring you right in the face. Von Trier is a deeply subversive reactionary…
Some of the fun chat from my facebook page:

Jacinta Palmer
Jacinta Palmer

Do you mean to say the film itself was misogynistic, or merely addressing misogyny? I didn’t think it was misogynistic at all – Von Trier was playing with the notions of woman as unbound and untameable Nature and man as unmovable Logic and Rational Thought. I thought he missed a few good opportunities along the way though; it came off a little clumsily. If Lynch had directed it…
Jacinta Palmer
Jacinta Palmer

(does the above make me a film critic wanker? haha)
Richard Wolstencroft
Richard Wolstencroft

Well both. He was addressing the topic, but the film itself is misogynistic, I’d say. Of course due to post modernism all kinds of alternative readings are possible and Von Trier knows this completely, which is how he gets away with it…his cruel laughter can be heard behind much of the films last act.
Jacinta Palmer
Jacinta Palmer

Ah, postmodernism. You can get away with anything, it’s true. Best way to shield a prejudice is by overtly stating it and then waiting for someone respected to cry out “irony!”
Richard Wolstencroft
Richard Wolstencroft

Yes, the addiction to critical irony is so passe. What is daring is the reading of misogyny. Its so blunt and to the point. Von Trier has been accused of it before, but I never agreed fully with the criticism, his other films have different core meanings. Here I see it fully. This immoral “I don’t give a fuck” portrait of misogyny is daring. The nature is Evil, women is nature, women is evil equations are present all through the film. The male is a Genesis/Adam like innocent figure, trying to solve the riddle of the female, through psychology, sex and at last force… only to swarmed by faceless women at the end of the film.
Mark Savage
Mark Savage

Sounds fascinating, Mr. Richard.
Mark Savage
Mark Savage

Damn US release isn’t until October. The distribs here really drag their feet with non-US films.
Frank Howson
Frank Howson

Sounds like the crazy women I date.
Jacinta Palmer
Jacinta Palmer

The only thing stopping me from embracing the misogyny reading (which definitely seemed overt in places) is the levels of comedy and farce which seemed to almost dominate the last quarter of the film. I could hear Von Trier laughing, definitely, but I can’t quite put my finger on who he was laughing at.
Mark Savage
Mark Savage

But craziness isn’t gender exclusive.
Richard Wolstencroft
Richard Wolstencroft

Of course, Mark. Misandry is featured in many, many great movies…and for darn good reason! But AntiChrist, when you let it resonate with you, is about women.
Jacinta Palmer
Jacinta Palmer

I’ve only just realised that the symbol for ‘woman’ makes up part of the title.
Richard Wolstencroft
Richard Wolstencroft

Of course. Von Trier hides his meaning in plain sight. Manderlay is all about how when you liberate slaves of all kinds things turn to shit. That’s what Manderlay is about and that is the films meaning. No hidden Deleuzian reading about multiplicity… just bare ontological facticity.
Mark Savage
Mark Savage

Actually, I was just talking about humans in general, not the film. I understand ANTICHRIST is about women. I’m hanging out to see it (have been for quite a while).
Richard Wolstencroft
Richard Wolstencroft

Of course. In general its like my friend Alex Spalck said in his cool song, “I’m Lost Little Girl” from Pankow, “Misanthropes are always right · Misogynists quite often”…words to live by, my friends, words to live by…

Antichrist logo with the symbol for woman:

anticrist

5 Responses to “The Misogyny of Lars Von Trier’s AntiChrist”

  1. Jeff Coleman said

    Richard W.

    Hi. I’ve been intrigued by this movie since it was released, and your blog post finally convinced me that I have to see it. I’ve seen a few positive reviews of it, and many negative ones, but my intuition told me I would like it.

    I think there is something very fascinating, even revolutionary, about your reading of it as a sincerely misogynisic film.

    After reading through this post, I thought “This film sounds very… Weiningerian.”

    After a little bit of googling, I found an interview with Heidi Laura, who was the “Misogyny Consultant” for Antichrist:

    http://tobatheinfilmicwaters.com/2009/08/01/interview-lars-von-triers-misogyny-consultant/

    She also wrote a defence of Antichrist, found here:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/lars-von-trier-women-and-me-1763851.html

    Both articles mention Weininger. I think I’m onto something! I feel very giddy and want to write more about the Weiningerian connection soon.

  2. Jeff Coleman said

    Here’s a part of my homegrown interpretation of the Christ story.

    Christ represents masculine genius. The story of the crucifiction is the story of Christ’s fall. Christ could not embody the transcendental masculine spirit, he was too weak, and he fainted at the critical moment. In his wake, the Wolf Mother gave birth to the sons of Rome (pure masculine power), who tracked Christ down and nailed him to the cross (symbol of matter).

  3. Jeff Coleman said

    I said I would write more, but it would help to actually see the film first.

    I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what is your take on Weininger?

    The first time I saw his name, it was in an essay where he was described as something like a “black magician nazi jew.” I thought “that sounds up my alley.”

    When I read his work, it quickly became apparent that it goes far beyond any novelty appeal, into the truly spiritual.

    It would be safe to say I have an obsession with Weininger.

  4. Alex said

    Hey Richard,

    Thanks for quoting me…
    See you at the Muff…And from the 1st of September I’ll be cruising the streets of Melbourne…

    Alex

  5. richard777 said

    Great news Alex!

    Let’s talk on the email.

    Best

    RW

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: