May 20, 2009

What's next for Willem Dafoe? After his role in Lars Von Trier's AntiChrist the edgy actor has again exerted his penchant for imponderables. The recent screening at Cannes evoked violent reactions from armchair aesthetes in response to disjunctions of sexuality. The weighing of losses? Could that be the message intended? I haven't seen this yet, but expect it will put me well outside my comfort zone.

Film critic Rodger Ebert called himself a devil's advocate for this film. Perhaps we can get Willem to act in the feature film MoFi, which might be equally diabolical, but in a nice way...

  • I avoid spoilers at all costs, but in this case, I'm glad to know what in store for the viewer. However, the description is taken completely out of context (I have no idea the context!), and therefore is pretty confusing, if not completely unfair.
  • Pass!
  • I wonder how this compares to Audition. I found that at the local library and figured I'd see what everyone was talking about, and it turned out to be a rather slow and unengaging film topped off with an unwatchably disturbing torture scene. It seemed like they built the whole thing around that finale and relied on prior knowledge of it to build suspense as the story unfolded. In other words, it was a one trick-pony that made you stand around for two hours before kicking you in the nuts. Now, I give em credit for creating something that can elicit such a vivid response. Watching that shit was like watching someone saw off your foot while you're tied down, and had I seen it in a theater I would have ran away, as many people did. But if you're going to push buttons like that you'd better be doing it to drive home a point. That's what separates art from snuff films.
  • Gainsbourg bores a hole in Dafoe's leg with a hand drill and bolts him to a grindstone to keep him from escaping. I can't picture this. What sort of bolt? How big was the grindstone? How was the bolt attached to the grindstone? I want screencaps.
  • I'm with tellurian... how'd she keep that bolt in place? Really big washers? Did she use a socket wrench, spanner or did she tighten by hand? And did the bolt pass through the grindstone, or was it attached via a chain? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • We saw the movie last night, finally. She uses an auger. The bolt is a hex nut twisted with a pipe wrench onto a threaded rod. Aesthetically, the natural surroundings transcend the mad take this woman puts on nature, motherhood and men. As a director, Von Trier establishes unshakable empathy for him, no matter if, as her therapist, he has an authoritarian method to his kindness. Her grief is a sham, her motherhood a travesty, her doctoral thesis a cookbook of evil. Now we plan to see how Dafoe deals with a quite different starring role in Richard Foreman's play, Idiot Savant. Unlike Von Trier, Foreman is not interested in establishing empathy with actors, according to his book Reverberation Machines. The play should make for an interesting comparison.