Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Lars von Trier's Antichrist

“For what flood of eloquence can suffice to detail the miseries of this life?” —Augustine, City of God, 19.4.

Anthony points to a gripping and eloquent reflection on Lars von Trier’s controversial new film, Antichrist. “Antichrist is very obviously the product of a serious and prolonged depression of frankly theological proportions…. Nature has revealed itself as the relentlessly cruel, profoundly disgusting indifferent monster it always was; human nature is even worse, and women are as disturbed and disturbing as anything a malevolent deity could create in its worst dreams.”

As one of the film’s characters says: “Nature is Satan's church.” I haven’t seen Antichrist yet, but a friend who saw it at Cannes gave it this glowing recommendation: “My God, it’s absolutely brilliant! Pure evil.” You can take that either as a recommendation or a warning...

And speaking of the ambiguities of nature, David Bentley Hart has a new post on the Gnostic turn: “In a sense, a certain ‘Gnostic turn’ is inevitable for us today when we attempt to find our way towards the transcendent, inasmuch as we begin all our spiritual journeys now in a world from which the transcendent has been forcibly expelled, and not as a result of mere cultural prejudice…. We simply cannot now (if we are paying attention) imagine a universe whose grandeurs and mysteries unambiguously lead the reflective mind beyond themselves towards a transcendent order both benign and provident.”


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