Hardcore

Antichrist Fox

It’s hard to imagine a career as provocative and unrestrained as Lars von Trier’s taking a turn for even greater extremes. But with 2009’s Antichrist, that’s exactly what the Danish purveyor of human suffering accomplished, making a film that inspired massive walkouts, presumed on the surface to take seriously the notion of gender-inherent evil, and added a talking fox of doom to our cinematic language. The ambivalent reception (to put it as mildly as possible) of Antichrist at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival is best encapsulated by the two recognitions the film received: the Best Actress award for Charlotte Gainsbourg, and an “anti-award” recognizing the film as “the most misogynist movie from the self-proclaimed biggest director in the world.” While shocking and offending audiences with portrayals of suffering women is hardly new territory for von Trier, Antichrist marked a turning point. Having abandoned for the foreseeable future his “USA: Land of Opportunities” trilogy, von Trier instead turned to a series of films less connected by continued themes, and instead threaded by the director’s open approach to filmmaking itself as a therapeutic process to combat his depression. After continuing with Melancholia, this unofficial trilogy of sorts sees its third entry with the much-discussed two-part Nymphomaniac, currently rolling out over March and April in theaters and on VOD. So here is a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a director currently banned from the Cannes Film Festival.

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Bad Motherfucker

Have you ever jacked in? Have you ever wire tripped? Have you ever done it for two hours without wanting to throw up? Producer Timur Bekmambetov and director Ilya Naishuller are hoping that you can stomach a feature-length film they describe as “the world’s first POV action movie” — a project that will most likely feel like you’re watching someone else play a video game. Shot on a GoPro camera and starring Sharlto Copley, Hardcore exists because of Naishuller’s insanely popular music video for “Bad Motherfucker”, but while that was a four-and-a-half minute, first-person display of fantastic action choreography, it’s a bit difficult to imagine watching a feature version without getting at least a little queasy.

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