Sunday, 31 May 2009

Antichrist by Lars von Trier: Interpretation


© Zentropa Entertainment 2009

I saw Antichrist prepared for a gothic/horror fantasy! I wasn’t disappointed – there’s no reason to take this film too seriously. It’s a sumptuous, sexy and contrived piece of symbolism about men and women, and their roles in Western society. And it’s very silly too!

Initially I thought the film was misogynist – and that’s a common opinion. I wrote the following interpretation of the film’s view of its lady lead (named ’she’) and of what drives her, and have to some extent changed my opinion.

Spoilers obviously...

The film opens with a couple’s child falling to its death, while they have passionate sex. For a while the film appears to be an investigation into the patterns of grief. This proves to be very wrong – I think ’guilt’ is the overarching theme. The guilt turns out to be about the original sin of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

There are two important revelations, that I choose to highlight to illustrate this: 1.: We learn that ’she’ saw her son before he fell and could have stopped him. 2: ’She’ spent a summer in ’Eden’, their cabin in the woods, alone with her son, where she every day switched his shoes to the wrong foot, causing permanent damage to his feet. During this time she was writing a thesis about historical murders of women, including witch burnings.

I argue that the two lead characters are archetypes of Western gender roles - this could be supported by the fact that they are merely called 'he' and 'she'. He is intellectually superior to her and attempts to control her emotional ’insanity’ with reason throughout the film. She has tried to break free of this cultural restriction/pattern through her thesis (intellectuality) as well as her aggressive 'masculine' sexuality. She acted out her contempt towards the power of men on her son (the shoes - hindering his activity) and maybe even through her complete indifference to being a mother while having sex, as the boy fell to his death.

Tragically she drives her husband to kill her and burn her like a witch, thus enforcing the power she was fighting and punishing her for her ’rebellion’. I think she does it to herself - she ends up believing that the rebellious female must be punished and de-sexualized, because of her part in the death of the son. The fact that she mutilates both her husband’s and her own genitals, is an attempt to reverse the original sin, by making them both ’innocent’ in Eden again.

The film ends with him killing her and leaving the woods. Three animals greet him on his way and he smiles at them – showing affinity with them. Here I felt the most discomfort on behalf of women - does it mean that nature is male...? Western nature is male – or rather, misogyny has become our human nature?

This is good sport and interesting cinema and possibly quite offensive...

46 comments:

Crypticity said...

Thank you for your interpretation. I saw Antichrist last night and decided to start trawling the internet for other interpretations to my own. My take was a little different:

The movie made attempts at a greater meaning that I'm still trying to make sense of. Both Dogville and Mandalay had attempts at greater meaning too, and both strained a little to do so. Mandalay helped itself in this regard by having archival photos of Blacks in poverty and oppression backed to David Bowie's song The Young Americans just to make its point clear. My feeling is that it is meant as an some sort of an artistic redress for misogyny: the burning of witches, the oppression of women, and for the deeming of feminine nature as evil or corrupting. The film reaches into the guts of this idea and the turns the creature inside out, creating the embodiment of feminine evil as almost a mockery, as a woman Christ to be crucified, to be what the men had said the witches were - evil for the sex, and to be burnt for it. And then take this embodiment and inflict it on a pure "man" of reason, man-as-a-solver-of-problems, knowledge and chivalry tempting him into sin. And as I try to hold the movie in my head to write this, it is perhaps only then I can take the significance of the title: Antichrist.

But of course, interpretations are just interpretations. We each try and suck the marrow from such films.

ON7WP said...

I would like to add some comment on the end. Whenever the three beggars appear, somebody has to die. Just before that scene he was eating wild fruit, I guess poisoned, so the three animals appearing means he is going to die by poisoning.
I have no explanation however for the faceless women climbing on the hill.
What was the name again of the famous piece of art involving the oak three and the naked bodies below ?

Pedro.wyns@gmail.com

About Me said...

Thanks Crypticity, for your take. I like your wording and don't think we disagree about the film at all...
Yes, sucking the marrow, it's true.

And an interesting thought about poisoned fruit and The Three Beggars, ON7WP. That would give his smiling to the animals a very different meaning: Nature wins!

About the faceless women: surely all the women men have murdered through history, haunting him?

daniel.pierce said...

Props to Caritas Fischer and everyone else who has posted. i read the Variety review, I hate reading reviews, but a thorough and intellectual analysis is always great. And that's why I thought Antichrist was so incredible, because not only was it visually stunning, but you can walk away with all of these varying thoughts and interpretations in your head. This just makes me like the film even more, but I wanted to know if anyone could go deeper and maybe shed more light on The Three Beggars and what they symbolize? I know they are clearly labeled in the film, but there seems to be some really interesting stuff going on. For instance the parallel nature of the Doe and her half-birthed fawn, with "She" and the death of her son. I'm going to watch the film again tonight, so maybe I will discover some new thoughts on everything. Thanks again to everyone! -Dan

daniel.pierce said...

Also, what about some of the visual imagery and natural symbolic representations of female/male? Watch the film again and when "She" describes the forest to Defoe check out the shot from within the cave/hole as she passes by. This cave plays a big role later when "He" climbs inside of it. I find it representative of female womb/genitalia only in comparison to the next striking image which seems to be very phallic in nature; the dying yet erect tree trunk. "She" even comments on it stating that "It has some strange kind of personality, I've always felt that". PS, I Blog here:http://danielwpierce.wordpress.com/

When I get a copy of the dvd I will prob do a full analysis just for fun. This film, like most seemingly simplistic works, is incredibly deep, if you want it to be.-Dan

9 Joints said...

What do people think of the three beggars symbolizing the antithesis of the Three Kings?

I agree with a lot of your interpretations. My friend and I have been trying to find greater meaning in this film, something beyond the overt misogyny.

I think that He kills She because He, western mankind, is misogynistic. The act of strangling takes so much time and composure, that it surely references a kind of hate already held deep inside the murderer. At that moment, he is no longer a victim but an aggressor. I don't think that She necessarily ensured her death actively.

I also found it notable that the crow in one instance forsakes He and in the other instance is the saving grace (in the cave vs. under the house where the wrench was) and that She refers to other women as 'sisters' referencing one group in particular that could make it hail.

She seems to believe herself a witch, the cross which she bears, which all Judeo/Christian women must bear is the burden of original sin. All women are witches in her mind as they are all governed by nature.

Is Satan in the film? If nature is Satan's church, then where is Satan, the individual tempter? Is the dead tree the symbol of the Tree of Knowledge or is it perhpas the tree with the root cave?

I have a million questions myself and think I will watch the film again once it is on DVD

Wily Woman said...

Thanks so much for all of your interpretations...I just walked out of the film today, thoroughly lost.

chiapet571 said...

I was similarly flabbergasted, thanks for the interpretations, all

Socks and Streetcorners said...

I think we might be kind of overlooking the most obvious of the symbolism, being that they have returned to Eden.

- The large tree She is drawn to = Tree of Knowledge (aka Sin).

- I agree that they are trying to escape back into purity, though I see it as them running from the sin they committed in the Prologue and are trying to fall back into a natural ignorance.

- The bodies trapped inside the tree are people who have lost themselves to sin/knowledge, and the Two's fornication at the roots is foreshadowing of their own downfall.

- The seeming misogyny stems from the idea that Eve is blamed for humanity's banishment from Eden (giving Adam the apple, sexualization--> the child, or Sin, died because the Woman offered Him (Adam) the apple (intercourse). That's also why She tries to reverse/control the female factor, reversing her child's shoes and using sex as an equalizer (though I think all of the sexuality really is more based in the psychological aspect of the film, which is also quite interesting, seeing as much of it is supposedly based on specific Freudian aspects).

I was already captured by the talent and imagery of the film, but honestly, the sheer appreciation I get from knowing a film has this many layers to it is beyond measure.

Socks and Streetcorners said...

Oh, I also neglectfully left out just an interesting point, in that the only music in the film is from Handel's opera "Rinaldo", and the selected song ("Lascia ch'io pianga") translates into "Let me weep
my cruel fate,
and let me sigh for liberty.
May sorrow break these chains
Of my sufferings, for pity's sake."

ecstaticist said...

Thanks to everyone who has put forward their thoughts about this important film. I would like to say only one thing. The bravery (a word carefully chosen) of the actors is to be highly commended.

Socks and Streetcorners said...

Just a quick note again:

I rewatched the film, and I noticed the three beggars each have a work engraved at their bottom: Pain, Grief, and Despair. And then one might make the connection between the three not really representing traditional begging, as stemming from poverty, but begging for something which is assailing you to stop. Then apply to the two.

mimi(cigalechanta) said...

what about the crow buried alive in the cave. Did she do that?

Ashley said...

To add some of my two cents, I think there are too many aspects to possibly break this movie down into something too simple. I remember the director is also a fan of Nitche (hope I spelled that right) and if you look at the credits he used a lot of specific research.

I read from one review that one should not discount the possibility of He being the anticrhist. He's evil is from his lack of emotion or faith. As he does not appear to believe in love, nature, or anything not logical. I found that if you think of He as God at certain moments, you also may see some other disturbing points of view. His strangling her at the end could be God forcing Eve out of Eden. Though, this is just a random idea.

I liked the idea that the fox hole is a womb. There are so many questions to ask, that I believe this is truly a movie that can not be truly understood - which is exciting. When I watched it, I thought that all of the dead bodies could possibly be previous She's that have been murdered in Eden. Not from He but from the previous representatives of He. The previous Adams. And thought it was interesting that He and She could at times be Adam and Eve - and that one of them would become the antichrist. Some parts reminded me of the Fountain in that respect. And thinking of He and She as the first and last man and woman was interesting.

I truly do not understand the significance of the three beggars. Though I did like the reference to the three wise men. Three has always had a significance in Christianity, from the Trinity, so the number before Jesus returned. I wish I knew more about Pagans, and the other references used for the movie. But maybe they are supposed to be both nature and faith to some extent. The fact that their motivations are so cryptic makes it more difficult to find the answer. I'm not sure why or how they appeared during the day, and if that means someone must die or not. Also, how did she know and hear voices that told her instructions? Who were the voices from. And I don't understand the women at the end without their faces.

I, too, have been trying to understand where Satan was in the movie, if he was explained several times. Maybe the animals are apart of that. But it's hard to say. As well as the subliminal messages throughout the movie, which were disturbing in themselves. Maybe the faces when they're driving through the woods are supposed to explain that Satan is nature, as they later somewhat state.

The significance of the little boy existing between the evil He and She is also puzzling. Alright, I'm done. :)

cephalocordata said...

Thank you for your thoughts, Caritas and all who have commented. I saw this beautifully filmed provocation for the first time today and felt the need for other people's interpretations rather than magazine reviews.
The switched children’s shoes as reversed gender oppression rings very true to me. So does 9 joints' suggestion about the 3 beggars.

One thing that struck me, and which I haven't seen mentioned here yet is the portrayal of nature as obscene, dark, and indifferent. Very reminiscent of Werner Herzog's opinion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjjnZvtwtqA
Therefore, like you, I also found Dafoe's newfound harmony with nature in the epilogue (peacefully picking berries and beaming at the 3 beggars) to be quite unsettling.

Regarding the flood of faceless women at the end; I first thought that they were furies of Greek mythology descending to punish him. But now I tend to think that they represent a change in his perception of women in general now that he has unlocked his (natural?) misogynistic self.

thedistanceiskillingme said...

To everyone that asks where satan is in the movie, I believe satan is subtly apparent in the form of his psychiatric background. He states that her anxiety and her FEAR (a tool of deception relating to western view of satan) manifests psychological to reality. The ground is burning her feet she says as she runs through the woods and she takes off her socks and sure enough her feet seem burnt. I believe that fear is satans will and nature is his manipulation (as noted by the visual manipulation in some of the "fear induced psychological/reality scenes ie. the child crying") satan is present but only as a host - her possession if not already obvious becomes clear when she cannot* find the wrench (*whether she actually wanted to or not is unclear, but would have it showed the scene of her looking for it if not?) This is again stating in a definitive way that she believes and so has manifested (and when he begins to believe it gets subjectively worse) that females are evil, the antichrist. Only my theory though. All your interpretations are so well thought out.

thedistanceiskillingme said...

also, to add the toolshed - coincidence or not i couldnt not think of the backmasking of led zeppelins stairway to heaven song "here's to my sweet satan" "a toolshed where he made us suffer" i looked a little more into this and it appears that toolsheds are apparently symbolic of Theistic Satanism (not that i believe in the backmasking or do i? havnt made my opinion) interesting though.

Jane said...

Interesting ideas all. I agree with whomever mentioned that the film has layers of meaning and thus it's impossible to reduce it to one clear meaning: the psychological implications are as strong as the religious ones, for example.

The film does seem to imply that the Myth of Eden perpetuates misogyny; I'm particularly thinking of Milton's version (Paradise Lost).

But does the film itself do so?

If She could have stopped the "fall" - in this case the sacrifice of her son (an allusion to Christ, who dies for the original sin in Eden) - and she doesn't, isn't the film suggesting the postlapsarian world is "all her fault" then? Isn't the guilt, madness, and subsequent strangulation of "She" -not to mention the burning of witches etc -justified?

That's what I can't decide. It seems so, when He kills She, but then we see He eating fruit, the forbidden fruit?, at then end, in order to survive. Is this just him eating the fruit, like Adam does after Eve. Is He just as guilty for the child's sacrifice, but oblivious, never having atoned for it. Can he understand his guilt like She can?

And all those women walking up the hill at the end is the last image we see - why? What do they represent? That historical gynocide is a result of religious mythology? A result of man's "black and white" interpretation of reality? Man trying to conquer and control nature, which is shot in glorious colour throughout.

I mean, why are the prologue and epilogue shot in black and white? There must be a reason. Is there some indication of neutrality here? Or is it something to do with the rational world, or history, or things that are interpreted in black and white?

Why is the tree, supposedly of knowledge, dead? Does it suggest something about it bearing fruit, or not? The lack of knowledge?

I don't know the answers to these questions; I've watched it only once, last night.

I like the interpretation of the three beggars as anti-three Kings from the Bible; I know that's what Ebert says too.

Kyler J. said...

I don't think we ever covered why the film is titled " Antichrist". Shall I proceed without an introduction?
" Nature is Satan's church"- She.
This quote is fairly important. Infact it explains the ending. The sacrifice, one of them had to die. She dies because she is a woman, and in bibilical context the woman is evil. The movie is simply saying that women are controlled by nature and nature is evil. The reason all those women were herding into the forest at the end is because they in a way, returning to nature. The very thing that controls them. But what controls nature, Satan. And Satan is evil.The woman is sacrificed, for the birth of the Anti Christ, triggering the returning of man back to nature.
The reason She is bi polar, is because theres the good part of her controlling, and then there is nature controlling her to have sex, and cause mischief.
This movie is about submitting to human nature.
i think.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

I attempted to answer the question of who/what is the Antichrist of the title over at IMDb. Here's the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0870984/board/thread/171816621
I would love your feedback, even if it is scathing(better to learn than never know the truth)!

clare1art said...

Did anyone else notice that the evil looking face (that flashes in the trees on the train journey before her dream sequence) looks like defoe? I also thought i spotted every now and then, eyes watching them. Like animals eyes in the dark with that orange glow. Also why did the three beggars only show themselves to him?

Also she pointed out that the previous summer that their son tended to wander and I was wondering if her swapping his shoes was so he wouldn't "leave" her like she accuses her husband of doing later in the film, but then why would she let him fall from the window and die? Confused!! :)

Sarah said...

I believe that the three beggars only show themselves to He because She already succumbed to nature's call while He was disregarding it all along. Just a theory.

Sarah said...

At Clare1art: seeing the faces while driving through the woods scared me! That gave me the biggest chills. I'll have to watch it again to see if it looks like Dafoe's face.

Thank you all for such fantastic input. Your theories will make this film even more enjoyable the more I watch.

kenjidub said...

Your interpretations gave more and more to analize... Still confused, but at least I have a clue now.

David said...

possibly that she represents humanity, turmoil, bi-polar, sex driven. maybe the three beggars are nature, fertility, choatic, regeneration. He could be the antichrist, trying to fix her human affliction with logic and a lack of faith. when he decides to leave her is maybe a depiction or the antichrist making things better for humanity but utlimitly not providing salvation. That was just some random thinking i had, still confused about the faceless women, and why she bolted the millstone to his leg. so many questions on this movie, but i really liked it. it made me think.

cm said...

It seems that the movie's overarching theme is very much about the use of guilt as a crutch and rationalization for man's ineptitude or lack of desire to exist within nature harmoniously.

I think the use of the Nietzschean title reflects not so much a desperation and hopelessness, but more of the character's laziness and corruption in their inability to imbue the sublime to their impulses -especially and ironically in the face of the entire film's (including the inescapable banality of the characters' violence) gorgeous cinamatography.

Right from the beginning, the film illustrates the characters' quasi-intentional movement from a higher order to a base level of satisfying impulsive self-centered needs. That the characters' child viewed them having sex and then sought out his own connection with nature in falling snow is a positing of reality rather than a representation of it. What follows in the film is their surrender to the effects of social perversions on their half-hearted attempts to follow such a trying situation naturally.

What I find fascinating is that for all the talk about nature and Satan, the characters' physical agony is utterly of their own design.

Sure, the initial despair over the loss of a child plunges them into a self-destructive maelstrom, but the emotional device of loss is portrayed as an accelerant or amplification of their underlying weakness and personal predilictions.

DKZZZZ said...

Three beggars: Pain, Grief, and Despair = Birth, Death and Existence.
Crow is death and thus Grief, Fox is Despair and therefore an existence (fox is an intermediate state between birth and death and in a lot of folklore creature that leads humans into the afterlife), and the Deer is passive innocence of Birth and therefore Pain.
Just my 2 cents.
P.S. When I saw the reference to animals as 'three beggars' I thought of medieval symbolism ,but so far I could not find exact references in Google-books.

blsh0p said...

This seems similar to the story "The Yellow Wallpaper". The YW is about a woman married to a psychologist (like the antichrist), who has a nervous breakdown. Her husband tries different forms of therapy to treat her. None work really, and she has the same "Im all better now" experience that the woman in antichrist has. At the end of the story, so goes insane and starts crawling over her passed out husband (who passed out when he saw is insane wife) like a cat.

Ver very similar to yellow wallpaper. Just a weird, mythological twist.

Here's yellow wallpaper in a nutshell
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/yellowwallpaper/summary.html

pjvs said...

There are simple explanations to what goes on between the two characters in this "film."
But first I wonder what Eric Clapton thought of it, since part of the theme is a slice of life taken from his own experience.
In fact, knowing what was coming, as I watched the couple - portrayed by Dafoe and Gainsbourg - rutting in animalistic delight as they distractedly destroyed the inanimate objects around them -- so lost in lust that nothing else in the world mattered -- I said to my spouse -- as the child climbed to the window: *One more step to Tears in Heaven* and watched as the little one fell -- uncomprehending -- to his tragic and premature death.
Then the next thing I thought, seeing the parents walk behind the child's casket, was how can she do it? How can she walk behind the casket holding her baby and not dissolve into the horrific grief this must cause... and then she couldn't... and collapsed from the unbearable weight of it...
In the hospital when the woman awoke, she said -- in a very plain and direct way -- that she was not ready to leave the hospital...
But her husband, being a man, with the endless need to "fix" things, felt he knew better than she did... the hospital was no place to grow and get over the loss of her child... he would take her out of there and help her get over it...
A huge mistake. A very huge and unfortunately male mistake. And in the end the woman got maimed and dead and the man ended up wounded and a murderer because he pulled that arrogant and male mistake of knowing better than a separate person involved what that person needed, and knew she needed and told him she needed. She needed to stay in the hospital, in a quiet place removed from much earthly sensation and heal. He was sure he knew better and he didn't listen.
He didn't listen to the person who knew internally what she needed and they both suffered even more horribly than they already were, but she suffered the worst. She got maimed and dead as a result of his stupid arrogance.
And I watched the special features on the DVD and I can tell everyone that Lars Von Trier is not only wrong in his assertions but he's full of BS and F-ed in the head about this piece he created.
Men ARE more evil than women. At some point in the history of the human race, men used brute force and the 4% more muscle tissue they have at birth to take over control of human populations and they are responsible for ALL the Wars and destruction wreaked on the human race since they wrested control.
Women, you know, were the first GODS. They were worshipped because they could produce not only other whole human beings from their bodies in the birth process, but could also produce food -- in the form of breast milk.
Men could NOT do either of these things. So first they worshipped women for the magic of the female abilities, and then, fearful that they would somehow be marginalized due to the powers which women had been given by nature, men then sought to destroy women -- hence the term "Gynocide" in the "film."
Males have bum-rapped females ever since Adam tried to blame Eve for causing him to desire her. Adam showed Eve his penis -- the serpent -- and helped the serpent to convince her to try it, to try the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Then after they BOTH indulged in the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of God & Evil -- together -- Adam turned to God and blamed Eve -- taking no blame for his part which was key to the commission of the first "sin."
Taking no responsibility he said to God: "The woman beguiled me and I did eat!"
One of the truly sad things of the modern age is that the more women become like men, the more evil and wicked many of them become.

die eensame genugtig said...

Great sharing!

She accuses He of several things early on: interfering (he doesn't heed her request to stay under the doctor's care), arrogance (he knows better, none of her opinions and feelings are acknowledged), and emotional
distance (why did he heed her request to be alone last summer?). These are all fuzzy ideas: they won't stand up in court. As I watched, I blamed her for saying these hurtful things when she could not "prove" them: in fact, I even resented her for being so demanding. They're humiliating, needy-woman things to say.

However, on a human, romantic/gender/sexual level, humility, respect and connection are valuable. Crucial. In that light, why is She the crazy one? Why are her words and accusations irrelevant? Why does He get to infantalise her with his caresses and pooh-poohing?

I don't think she saw her son fall: I think she is overwhelmed by guilt because she knew the son could escape his baby cage. Her emotions are not irratonal: they are amplified by grief. She is not more evil than anyone, nor is her grief really "atypical". Yet she is the film's whipping boy: the ambiguity and menace revolves around her.

In contrast, He gets to 1) maintain his dignity and sanity; 2) pontificate endlessly in ways no one can contradict; and 3) walk away from the tragedy as a victim in every way (HE could not have forseen his son's accident, He did not instigate a violent duel with his wife). It's massively unfair.

This film is not misogynistic: it shows how misogynism works.

die eensame genugtig said...

Great sharing!

She accuses He of several things early on: interfering (he doesn't heed her request to stay under the doctor's care), arrogance (he knows better, none of her opinions and feelings are acknowledged), and emotional
distance (why did he heed her request to be alone last summer?). These are all fuzzy ideas: they won't stand up in court. As I watched, I blamed her for saying these hurtful things when she could not "prove" them: in fact, I even resented her for being so demanding. They're humiliating, needy-woman things to say.

However, on a human, romantic/gender/sexual level, humility, respect and connection are valuable. Crucial. In that light, why is She the crazy one? Why are her words and accusations irrelevant? Why does He get to infantalise her with his caresses and pooh-poohing?

I don't think she saw her son fall: I think she is overwhelmed by guilt because she knew the son could escape his baby cage. Her emotions are not irratonal: they are amplified by grief. She is not more evil than anyone, nor is her grief really "atypical". Yet she is the film's whipping boy: the ambiguity and menace revolves around her.

In contrast, He gets to 1) maintain his dignity and sanity; 2) pontificate endlessly in ways no one can contradict; and 3) walk away from the tragedy as a victim in every way (HE could not have forseen his son's accident, He did not instigate a violent duel with his wife). It's massively unfair.

This film is not misogynistic: it shows how misogynism works.

Caritas Fischer said...

@ die eensame genugtig :''This film is not misogynistic: it shows how misogynism works.'' - Great point - I really agree!

Kamenicov said...

Sorry if i mistake my english, its not my primary language. I have seen it right now and iam very happy because it was dedicated to a great artist Andrei Tarkovsi, and of course his influence in the movie was brilliant.

In other stuff, i want to say that in the scene when he is killing her, he felt all the symptoms that he described when someone is anxious...so this can respresents how men also feel things that women do and animals, plants etcetera, so men through centuries tried to avoid or ignore them because they felt so temerous and with fear to let go been sensitive about others...i think. And they made their image as strong and fearless against everything, and women the opposite, but in this modern times we know that is wrong. We are all vulnerable and need to express feelings.

boweed said...

How about Defoes eyes when he was strangling her...Black from what i saw meaning to me that they both was sharing the evil. Love the flick and all the insightful comments. Lots of stuff i embarrassingly missed:) thx everyone

Gorgor said...

Christ is nature. Anti-Christ is anti-nature. SHE said nature is Satan's Church. Thus she avoided and feared the nature. She tried to twist the truth.

The truth = Christ is nature. She twisted this, like the way she put wrong shoes over her son. Twisted mind gives twisted truth, but not the truth.

Twisted mind strengthen the desire, as desire comes from mind, not comes from nature. Nature = no desire. Strong sexuality desire in her shows that SHE had already forsaken nature.

Twisted mind gives pain, grief and despair. HE didn't have all 3 of these. HE told SHE to embrace nature.

Fox disembowel itself = twisted nature. Deer with a dead fawn = twisted nature. Undying crow = twisted nature. Chaos comes from twisted mind.

HE being indifferent. Like being free from all the chaotic emotions. Much Zen-like. The fox, deer and crow restored to their "natural look" at the end perhaps implies chaotic states being restored to nature itself. Antichrist is gone. All the faceless women being wrongly accused as evil and sacrificed were free. Back to the nature.

SHE is not Antichrist, just the manifest of Antichrist i.e anti-nature. HE had clear mind, thus saw prophetic visions. Saw both nature and anti-nature visions.

Wendy said...

I also thought of "The Yellow Wallpaper." I also thought of my favorite book on horror films, "Men, Women, and Chain Saws." In it, the author describes how post-Deliverance horror films feature well-off (white) people going into rural areas where bad things happen to them. Does this say something about social class? Or maybe the modern world?

Finally, when we see the xray of the son's feet, they look a little like animal legs. I think of the Devil and his cloven hooves.

Caritas Fischer said...

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for your comment!
Must read ''The Yellow Wallpaper''! It's funny I'm just now using the Clover book you mentioned for my dissertation - I agree with you!

I'm so very pleased that my post has been the start-off for this great conversation!

All the best, Caritas

Wendy said...

Caritas,
Come to think of it, "The Yellow Wallpaper" contains the theme of urban to rural and isolation. Some classify it under the genre of horror. Maybe horror has *always* been about gender. The only other story I can think of that is similar is "The Fall of the House of Usher." Perhaps horror even goes back to Adam and Eve and the concept of falling from grace. In that case, does horror have Biblical roots? I think suddenly of a book called When God was a Woman, which theorizes that the Adam and Eve story was a kind of horror/story warning to the goddess-worshipping cultures in which snakes were a powerful symbol...as well as a certain kind of fruit-bearing tree...sorry--I read it a long time ago, but it was fascinating!

Anyway, I would love to hear more about your dissertation. I love film, especially horror, and I teach a course called "Literary Approaches to Film" at a community college.
Wendy

Caritas Fischer said...

Hi Wendy,

My dissertation is a feminist critique/investigation of the use of fairy tales in contemporary film, especially with regards to notions of the feminine and the response to a sexual aggressor. Although I don't limit myself (yet) to the horror genre in the discussion, horror really is so fascinating when it comes to gender! I've been looking a lot at the oral and literary history of ''Little Red Riding Hood'' and your idea of horror going back to Adam and Eve is a very exciting one in that context. One could argue that, more recently, ''Little Red Riding Hood'' similarly is a story which has been usurped by men to vilify women and class them as either a virgin or a witch. Fascinating that the other gender should be so terrifying... I'll definitely have a look at the literature you mentioned.
Which films and theories do you discuss in your class?
Feel free to write to my email caritasfischer@gmail.com.
Caritas

opethgarzaMD said...
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opethgarzaMD said...
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karrtoon said...


alot of this seems as though people are like always looking way deeper into something that is as thick as skin...........only part i didnt get in the whole movie was when he said there is no such constellation. i see a few people seem to try and use really strange words to do their describing, thats really funny to me cause the same things can be said with just plain words.......you dont have to look smart by typing smart....matter of fact im sure you know who you are, your comment left me feeling like you had no idea what you were talking about............anyways i did pull some things out of things said. but i have a totally different outlook on this........i mean some as plain as the pain of life, having to cause more pain to get over it, and then more and more.....like many people i know who have turned to cutting and hacking and modifying themselves while having no anesthetization. the crow was also saving him both times not just the first time, he had to be found our he would have died in the first place......big woods big hole in leg bleed to death duh........so he was saved twice by one of the three beggars. him eating the berries in the end, didnt make me think anything of them being poisoned, just that he was gonna live and kinda like a ha ha ha thing........ as the women were going back to morn another lost sister. again lost to the ever reigning man.. and guess i may need to watch it again, but i dont remember her actually seeing her child going to the window. im pretty sure that was not known, she says herself that she thinks she could have stopped it because she knows he gets up and wonders in his sleep.......she felt she should have checked on him....still confused about him saying there is no such constellation, and the whole bit about the shoes and his feet, i dont know but it seemed like he was crying when she was putting them on the right feet first so she may have been helping him, or like some one else said craZy since the beginning, and trying to control the kid cause again he was male and most she's really hate the fact that they are not meant to be in control.....so they band to gether to try and do things like witchcraft. lol anyways also the name of the movie, i dont know that the he was the anti christ......dont remember him saying that he didnt believe, seems he knew more then she did about christ and she knew more about the opposite, so she is the antichrist, and the wheel bolted to his leg, ummm so he couldnt get away......and he was sure not impotent after she crushed his manhood. matter of fact it looked solid as a rock.......and was still able to get off, just had blood mixed in the semen since it was just SMASHED.....and her not being able to find it was a moment of realization in her insanity, a clarity where she came back and didnt even realize what was going on, and the clipping of the clit a more serious way to cause pain cause she was still thinking of her son................some of you are very weird..........but its all good..........just dont dig so deep! sometimes the apple is just red.

karrtoon said...


alot of this seems as though people are like always looking way deeper into something that is as thick as skin...........only part i didnt get in the whole movie was when he said there is no such constellation. i see a few people seem to try and use really strange words to do their describing, thats really funny to me cause the same things can be said with just plain words.......you dont have to look smart by typing smart....matter of fact im sure you know who you are, your comment left me feeling like you had no idea what you were talking about............anyways i did pull some things out of things said. but i have a totally different outlook on this........i mean some as plain as the pain of life, having to cause more pain to get over it, and then more and more.....like many people i know who have turned to cutting and hacking and modifying themselves while having no anesthetization. the crow was also saving him both times not just the first time, he had to be found our he would have died in the first place......big woods big hole in leg bleed to death duh........so he was saved twice by one of the three beggars. him eating the berries in the end, didnt make me think anything of them being poisoned, just that he was gonna live and kinda like a ha ha ha thing........ as the women were going back to morn another lost sister. again lost to the ever reigning man.. and guess i may need to watch it again, but i dont remember her actually seeing her child going to the window. im pretty sure that was not known, she says herself that she thinks she could have stopped it because she knows he gets up and wonders in his sleep.......she felt she should have checked on him....still confused about him saying there is no such constellation, and the whole bit about the shoes and his feet, i dont know but it seemed like he was crying when she was putting them on the right feet first so she may have been helping him, or like some one else said craZy since the beginning, and trying to control the kid cause again he was male and most she's really hate the fact that they are not meant to be in control.....so they band to gether to try and do things like witchcraft. lol anyways also the name of the movie, i dont know that the he was the anti christ......dont remember him saying that he didnt believe, seems he knew more then she did about christ and she knew more about the opposite, so she is the antichrist, and the wheel bolted to his leg, ummm so he couldnt get away......and he was sure not impotent after she crushed his manhood. matter of fact it looked solid as a rock.......and was still able to get off, just had blood mixed in the semen since it was just SMASHED.....and her not being able to find it was a moment of realization in her insanity, a clarity where she came back and didnt even realize what was going on, and the clipping of the clit a more serious way to cause pain cause she was still thinking of her son................some of you are very weird..........but its all good..........just dont dig so deep! sometimes the apple is just red.

karrtoon said...

and apparently pjvs has no idea whats going on in the world, seems as thoug it is a she, and an angry she, because of the truths of life..........get over it..........wtf

Yannis said...

About Me,

Someone must have already answered that but I really felt I had to answer without reading all other posts first. In the movie (apart from His, Her and their kid's face) ALL other faces are hidden. You can go back to the movie and check the faces of the people in the funeral. I believe the women in the end are a symbol of all the women dying because of men (strengthening Her beliefs in a way; even if she's dead at that point) and that their faces being hidden is a director's way to tell you, "you only have to focus on these three faces". Just my take on that, I ll read the rest of the comments; even if I didn't adore the movie (I liked but didn't go nuts about it) I must say that what people have to say about it is amazing!