Lars Von Trier On Trial

We read the Antichrist director his rights...


After we heard the news that Lars Von Trier's awful Antichrist will arrive in UK cinemas uncut, we thought we'd sit down the director and ask him to explain himself.

The following is our attempt to find out why he made it, whether he accepts it's a failure, and whether or not he sees himself as a misogynist. The court is now in session...

Mr Von Trier, will you concede that your horror film is a failure?

Well, it’s not a horror film. It’s a lot of different things. You know, whenever I try to make a musical, it didn’t become a musical!


Next: Shock & Bore




But it was your goal, was it not, to both bore and shock the viewer?

No, I don’t think about the audience. I think whatever you can imagine, you can shoot. Otherwise the medium wouldn’t make any sense.

There is quite a lot of suffering in this life. And yes, you should portray it.

I think because of this breakdown I had, I suddenly had a freer access to some of the things that I’ve experienced before.

I wasn’t afraid to make it kitsch and bad taste and politically incorrect.

You open your thoroughly pretentious movie with a protracted scene of the death of a small child...

...I can see that maybe the little boy at the start is me. Because my mother was extremely important in my childhood.

I was really fond of her. I had these magical ideas that whenever she said something it became real.

But she didn’t give me a childhood.

If I were to ask her, ‘Shall I die during the night?’ She would say, ‘It’s not very likely.’ Her ambition to tell the truth was bigger than the ambition of taking care of a child in that sense.


Next: Sex & Death




The parents are having sex when the child falls to his death. Are you blaming them?

I don’t know if I can talk about it. But I feel there is a lot of guilt. Especially in this female character, there is a lot of guilt.

I hope that my mother would have felt guilty!



Next: Misogyny





We put it to you Mr Von Trier, that you have proved yourself a misogynist.

That would be ridiculous. Nobody hates women. But then, what should you write about?!

Of course, there are differences between the sexes. I’m very sure of that. And that’s good. That’s very good. But that also gives some tensions. Not that I feel them in my marriage!


Next: Talking Fox




Would you not agree that your film is wilfully pretentious? Will the jury please note Exhibit A: the talking fox.

No, but it’s more complicated than that. The fox comes from these Shamanic journeys that I did.

You have this drum beat and you have some little techniques that take you into this parallel world.

And there, I talked to this fox and it demanded to have a line. So, what can I do?

And I can tell you, I had this aunt that was dying in hospital. She loved foxes. And until the evening she died, we wrote to each other about the foxes. It was very touching.


Next: Sarcasm




/Mr Von Trier! Are you at all fit to stand trial?

I have to tell you that I that I have been under therapy, under this cognitive therapy, for quite a lot of years.

And some of what you see in Antichrist might actually be a little sarcastic...

Defendant found in contempt of court and unfit for trial. Case adjourned until further notice.

 Like This? Then try...

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter for the latest news, features and reviews delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow us on Twitter


    • durden

      Jun 29th 2009, 14:18

      are you guys actually bashing lars von trier?!how f*ing dare you!!you know,you guys are hypocrites!!!you praise the likes of transformers 2 or t4 and you say antichrist is bad?!have you actually seen more than 2 movies in your entire lifes!?!?!?

      Alert a moderator

    • RastaFresh

      Jun 29th 2009, 16:27

      I agree with durden! Lars Von Trier is an artist, and that I can't say 4 most of the Hollywood directors! And what the f*ck is that s*it with Transformers 2!? The first one was pure c**p and I can only imagine how s****y the second one is! Peace out :)

      Alert a moderator

    • OAKside

      Jun 29th 2009, 17:22

      I don't want to read this in entirety due to the probability of massive (unwarned!) spoilers, but I must also say I think you guys suck. When I have finally seen the film and actually read the article maybe my opinion of this (awful) site will change, but honestly I'll probably just forget all about it and TotalFilm by then.

      Alert a moderator

    • TheWizard

      Jun 29th 2009, 21:19

      I agree with everyone. This is just bad reporting-taking a biased angle and crucifying an artist. It's unbelievable insulting to Lars Von Trier as well. I think it's pathetic that you wouldn't ever think of doing this to someone like Michael Bay, a man more an idiot than an artist-after all he gave us transformers. As Michael Mann said, maybe now that his film is out people will stop watching films about toys.

      Alert a moderator

    • punchdrunklove

      Jul 1st 2009, 11:08

      Total Film i hope you read this and issue an apology! I really hope you do. I gave you abuse once you reported this from Cannes but there is no way you can ask a director these questions and think it's ok. Lars von Trier is Wonderful, powerful and beyond all an ORIGINAL director. Please make an apology.

      Alert a moderator

    • chrishaydon63

      Jul 14th 2009, 16:02

      I'm in entire agreement with every other comment on this feature. For starters, just because you didn't like 'Antichrist' doesn't make it a bad film. Secondly, as everyone else has said, you seem to have this sugar-coated outlook on all the terrible Hollywood films being released. They aren't artworks, and the directors behind them are even worse, they just want to make money. Directors like Michael Bay, McG and Roland Emmerich all have one thing in common: Being unable to make good films. Lars Von Trier is a celebrated auteur in cinema and has pushed the boundaries of filmmaking and the arthouse circuit. He even started Dogme '95 for god sake. He is a cinematic genius and deserves respect, especially from a film magazine. This feature is a real shame and I hope you produce no more content like this.

      Alert a moderator

Most Popular