I’ve been busily working on my new website over the past two weeks and I’ll hopefully be able to go live with it soon. For this reason, my weekly spool has been a bit light on of late. All my free time (what little there is) has been devoted to the website.
Cannes Film Festival - Antichrist
The 2009 Cannes Film Festival is underway and we’ve already got a talking point – the new film from Lars Von Trier called Antichrist. I’m a fan of Von Trier for such films as Breaking The Waves and Dogville. We’ll here’s a sampling of articles describing his new film…
"The film, starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a couple seeking to overcome the grief of losing their only child, has quickly become the most talked-about at this year's festival, which ends on 5.24. Cannes notoriously picky critics and press often react audibly to films during screenings, but Sunday evening's viewing was unusually demonstrative. Jeers and laughter broke out during scenes ranging from a talking fox to graphically-portrayed sexual mutilation.” – Mike Collett-White (Reuters)
“But my God, what a screening! What a reaction! Critics howling, hooting, shrieking. There's no way Antichrist isn't a major career embarrassment for co-stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and a possible career stopper for Von Trier. 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.” – Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere)
“Whether this is a bad, good or great film is entirely beside the point. It is an audacious spit in the eye of society. It says we harbor an undreamed-of capacity for evil. It transforms a psychological treatment into torture undreamed of in the dungeons of history. Torturers might have been capable of such actions, but they would have lacked the imagination. Von Trier is not so much making a film about violence as making a film to inflict violence upon us, perhaps as a salutary experience. It’s been reported that he suffered from depression during and after the film. You can tell. This is the most despairing film I’ve ever have seen.” – Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun Times)
As bad as this film sounds, I feel compelled to want to see it – just to find out just how bad it is. I’m guessing it’ll never get a cinema release based on this buzz but I’ll hopefully be able to catch it on DVD in about a year or so.
The festival continues on and in next week’s issue, I’ll provide a breakdown of the major award winners.
I had the chance over the weekend to experience the new V-Max cinemas at Chermside. They’ve given Cinema 3 a refurbishment and put in wider, posh seats with little tables in between. It’s a hybrid between regular class and gold class. The difference being that you can fit hundreds of people in a V-Max cinema.
Here’s the marketing blurb from the Greater Union website – “Vmax auditoriums feature stadium seating with a giant state-of-the-art 20m silver screen capable of showing the latest in digital 3D film product as well as all the latest blockbusters. The seats have been exclusively designed to provide additional comfort through extra seat space, contoured high backs, tables and double the amount of leg room.”
It’s an interesting idea but I have to raise my concerns over the cost. Ticket prices are $17.50 at Chermside for a full adult. That’s $2 more than the regular price – which is an already outrageous $15.50.
The Southbank, Balmoral, Hawthorn group of cinemas charge just $8.50 for an adult ticket on weekends. You have to pay more than double if you want to experience “Vmax”. It’s a lot to play – especially in this economic climate.
I’m sure it’ll have its fans. When it comes to movies, the public tend to favour their local cinema. Wasting time and petrol driving to Southbank isn’t worth the effort sometimes. But I’d be curious to know just how much money Vmax cinemas will bring in to the Greater Union bottom line and whether people are prepared to pay the extra $2 when you can see the same film in a regular cinema.
See you next week.