Cannes shock film in festival

By Russell Baillie

The New Zealand Film Festival has added Antichrist, the movie which caused an uproar at Cannes last month with its explicit violence and scenes of genital mutilation, to its programme.

The "psychosexual horror film" by provocative Danish director Lars Von Trier is a late addition to the Auckland and Wellington festivals, coming after the events' programmes were printed and released this week.

In Cannes the movie reportedly caused some audience members to faint and others to walk out or boo as the final credits rolled - though a few critics later praised the film for its audaciousness.

NZFF programmer Sandra Reid was at the Cannes screening and describes the film as "certainly further proof of how Lars Von Trier relishes provoking audiences. It is not for the faint of heart."

"This is an opportunity for New Zealand audiences to make up their own minds about his most extreme and controversial work to date."

Antichrist stars Willem Dafoe - who played Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ but more recently has been on our TV screens as a pitch man for Steinlager - and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a married couple who retreat to a house in the woods to mourn the death of a child.

There, Gainsbourg's character loses control and submits herself and her husband to graphic abuse.

Gainsbourg won Cannes' best actress prize.

Von Trier's past works have featured regularly in festival line-ups. Antichrist will screen in Auckland on July 25, followed by Wellington.

- NZ Herald

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