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You either Like or Hate Lars von Trier, the Danish Film Director

By Edited Mar 26, 2014 8 21

Seriously, where do people like Lars von Trier get those out of this world ideas, such as cutting your own genitals in a film! I recently saw von Trier's Antichrist on DVD, and as usual I was expecting something out of Lars von Trier's creative mind, and once again he did not disappoint me.

I have heard about the critiques of this film. Many have accused him of misogyny (the hatred of women). But just how did that happen?
Was it because the female character let their child fall out of the window so she could enjoy that heated moment with her husband? Was it because she put on the child's shoes the wrong way?
I think that there is more in the Antichrist film aside from all these let's call them "unusually disturbing" scenes. Yes, I want to call it that way because these scenes have made an impact on my artistic freedom perspective.

I have seen many of his films, and if you have seen some of von Trier's films, then it is quite easy to see how he portrays women as heroines.
Breaking the Waves, for example, Bess showed us how to love selflessly.
Selma's heartbreaking role in Dancer in the Dark.
And the trusting character of Grace in Dogville.
These women are heroines in their own right, and have in many ways showed us how amazing a woman's heart can be. I am not saying, though, that the Antichrist is about female heroism. For me, it was more of a journey into a woman's mind and inner feelings.

OK, let's face it, women are either seen as saints or bitches in literary fictions and films (to name a few). Both of these stereotypes were actually presented in the character of the woman, a mother, and a wife. Are women just trapped into choosing to become either a mother or a wife? Wouldn't this question qualify as one of the many themes of the film? I actually felt sorry for the character of the woman, because it seemed that she wanted to do something based on her understanding of the world, something that is "her way". Unfortunately, she was boxed-in in an absurd kind of world, and whatever she did was never allowed to have meaning.

I admire Lars von Trier's pursuit of pushing the possibilities of film-making and his various themes. Of course, there are very explicit violence in many of his films. But hey, isn't violence part of our everyday lives? Or would we rather not know how extreme violence can be.

Lars Von Trier also offers his viewers something personal something that is easy for us to relate to, and I guess that this is what most people who criticize him miss. I think that von Trier's films challenge us to understand circumstances beyond the usual. I don't say that many people are too insensitive to think out of the box, all I am saying is that we should see more than what is being presented to us. New ideas are a good sign of change, and this is what Lars von Trier is really good at.



Jan 29, 2010 2:14pm
Really enjoyed this article!, i've been meaning to check out his work for sometime,although I heard of the graphic scenes in Antichrist and thought i'd be too squemish to watch a guy get his nuts squashed =D gr8 work
Jan 29, 2010 3:16pm
Thank you for your nice words. - Yes it is a very strong movie, but worthwhile to see.
Aug 2, 2010 12:46pm
Dancer in the Dark is such a heart-wrenching film. Bjork displayed some incredible acting skills. It is unfortunate that the emotion it took to finish this film drove her to end her acting career.
Aug 2, 2010 10:14pm
I agree. I love the Dancer in the Dark too.
I believe that the 'clash' between the two artistic giants, Björk and Lars von Trier, was very hard on both of them.
Jan 18, 2011 3:29am
Great article. Dancer in the Dark made me vomit...literally. The mix of handheld camera work and the fact I was sitting in the front with a tub of stale popcorn....I puked up right afterwards. But it was a powerful film with an amazing performance from Bjork - who'd have thought! Thought-provoking stuff...look forward to the next interesting article!
Jan 18, 2011 12:59pm
never heard of this guy, but I was a big Sugarcubes fan back in the 80s (Bjork was the lead singer). I'll have to check out these films. Great article and congrats on being featured!
Jan 18, 2011 1:21pm
Congratz on the thought provoling feature article. I have not seen these films, but I have heard of them. Now I'm wanting to see them. Thanks!
Jan 18, 2011 2:55pm
Good Job
Jan 18, 2011 5:13pm
Feb 2, 2011 5:52pm
Congrats for this great review! Keep them coming
Feb 11, 2011 2:44am
To all 6 of you: Thank you very much for the nice comments!
Feb 12, 2011 3:54pm
For some reason I did not like the movie = (
Mar 7, 2011 8:44pm
I've seen his stuff and I've got to say, definitely not my thing.
Mar 24, 2011 6:53pm
Didn't like the movie much :(
Mar 25, 2011 8:59am
I actually loved his work, looking forward to seeing more!
Apr 1, 2011 12:04pm
really great review. I'm going to check out his stuff after reading this.
Apr 1, 2011 12:30pm
I've seen his stuff and I am definitely a fan. You've got a good writeup.
Mar 1, 2012 5:31am
Thank you for all the comments. As a further comment Lars on Trier is not following the "original dogme film-making rules" anymore - but his movies continue to cause debates.
Jul 15, 2012 8:22am
Hello: Truly enjoyed the article but am not familiar with Trier's work--I'll have to track down a couple of his films. Thanks to you they sound like something thatwould indeed interest me--as you know lady heroism and heroism itself is something I devle into. Anyway thumbs way up again!
Sep 23, 2012 8:32pm
Excellent review. Trier in Melancholia went even further than this, much further. I both hate and love this film, so I might try a love/hate review :)
Sep 24, 2012 10:16am
Thank you for the comment. I agree about Melancholia (btw. a few weeks ago I visited the location where Lars von Trier made the film - it was an interesting visit at the castle)
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