O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

300 Words From London: Where Are You, You Bastard?

In defence of Lars Von Trier's Antichrist.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2009
The Three Beggars, with their gold chains around their necks look like a farmyard Beastie Boys
by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2009
The Three Beggars, with their gold chains around their necks look like a farmyard Beastie Boys

I am not sure why Antichrist has been so vilified by the press. It is self-indulgent, sometimes painfully mannered and often a little tedious but certainly no more so than Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York. The Kaufman managed to make two hours seem like four, at least Laughing Lars kept a lid on the length of his self-pity.
At the screenings I was at at least three people walked out of each; at S,NY a disgruntled punter glared at the screen and virtually shook his fist at it "Shit, utter shit" he said (concise and to the point I thought); at Antichrist a group of three people left without comment after half an hour, perhaps if the much ballyhooed genital mutilation scene had been earlier in the film more might have gone but as it occurs so late in the day there is not much point storming out then.
In any event Antichrist is a very silly film – there is the tremendous section where Dafoe is attempting to escape from Gainsbourg after she has bolted a grindstone to his leg and he has turned into some kind of outcast from Chorlton and the Wheelies. As she screams "Where are you you bastard" over and over, Dafoe is in a foxhole and attempting to kill a crazy crow in a slapstick horror scene like he had fallen right into the Evil Dead. Oh yes, and then there is the talking fox. If only Basil Brush had had a catchphrase like "Chaos Reigns" what would Mr Roy have done then?
The fox, the crow and a goat then reappear at the end as The Three Beggars, with their gold chains around their necks they look like a farmyard Beastie Boys. I am hoping for a Three Beggars spin-off film, or at least an album or maybe Lars would like to revive the now dire Basil Brush show and restore it to its 1970s glory. Come on Lars, Where are you, you bastard? Boom, Boom!

see more stories from outsideleft's Culture archive »»

Lake
Editor, London

the first journalism Lake ever had published was a history of Johnny Thunders for Record Collector magazine, since then he has written for publications including the Guardian, Dazed and Confused, the Idler and more recently, outsideleft.com as you have just seen.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Philip A. Oldfield Week in Outsideleft is Happening
It's Philip A. Oldfield Week in Outsideleft
More Than a Big Thief Now
symbol from Adrianne Lenker's abysskiss lp is a lovely languid dee-lite
Recluses and the Music Geeks that Love Them
Black Stars and White Dwarfs
Mos Def and Talib Kweli pushed the boundaries of hip hop as it was experienced by white audiences in 1998 on Black Star, and they both continue to push on the respective recent releases.
The Year in Death: 2005
Alarcon says better late than never as he finally turns in his piece on death in 2005.
30 from... 17,16, 15 Laraaji, Tinariwen & Hannah Peel
Three more of the greats, says Jason as he works his way to #1.
Some of our favorite things...