As ever with the slightly 'quirky' or 'arty' films in Birmingham, Cineworld jumped all over this and then shoved it onto almost the tiniest screen at barely-accessible times. It's also not showing on Thursdays or Fridays. We managed to catch the 19.10 showing on Saturday, though it didn't start until about 15 minutes after that for some unknown reason. When we finally received trailers (one of which was for Sorority Row, which I guess shows the demographic they think this film appealed to; having said that, District 9 looks good...) there was then another pause during which they put the lights up and played the first few bars of the theme to American Beauty before the film started. A similar thing happened when we saw Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D, and once again, there was no explanation for the delay. It's nice how Cineworld so obviously care for their extortionate-fee-paying customers...
*ahem* Anyway, Cineworld is teH suck, and we already knew this. I was impressed to discover on the way there that the Electric is actually showing something other than bloody HP6 (which was previously on both screens) as they are now showing Coco Before Chanel, but it's a shame they're not showing Antichrist as it's exactly their kind of film, and would probably have eked out the less discerning viewers who attended Cineworld thinking it was a 'normal' horror film, only to be sorely disappointed to discover a rather strange, distorted vision of human grief and madness.
If anyone hasn't heard about this film - or at least the controversy surrounding it (I hear the Daily Mail had a field day with it...) - the basic plot goes thus: a married couple ('He' and 'She') lose their young son; He is a psychologist and takes his wife out to Eden, a cabin in the woods where She has been writing her thesis, in order to establish the root of her fear, whereupon She goes batshit and they turn on each other. It's not exactly pleasant viewing, to say the least. I'm sure you've heard about various scenes already so I won't reiterate (if not, I'm fairly sure a quick google search would produce countless results). Needless to say, however, if graphic violence and equally graphic sex scenes are not your thing, you probably shouldn't see this film... Hostel it most certainly ain't.
I'm still not entirely sure what most of the symbolism meant (it took me the entire film to realise that the fox, deer and blackbird were the 'three beggars'), though I get the impression a lot of it either doesn't mean anything, or means several things.
Whilst we were there, the girl sitting next to me walked out of the cinema shortly before Part 2 ("Pain (Chaos Reigns)") began; probably for best as that's when the really hardcore stuff kicks in. I saw another couple of people walk out before that part, too, complaining that it was "rubbish" - presumably they thought it was going to be like all those other 'gorno' films that are rife recently, so perhaps if they'd stayed a little longer their appetite for grue would have been satiated. It has been described, maybe even advertised, as Lars von Trier's "horror" film, which may have attracted the wrong kind of audience; there are stories rife on IMDb's message boards about the kind of idiots other viewers had to suffer, so it wasn't just us - in fact, it seems we got off lightly...
I admit, I wussed out on a couple of occasions. The part with the fox scared the dren out of me, which I think was only because the entire film had been building tension with nothing actually happening (much like El Orfanato, which terrified me for the same reason), so when the fox jumped up and snarled I nearly had a heart attack (as did a few other people, I think). I looked away periodically during the leg drilling scene because it was so gratuitously awful, and because anything to do with broken bones makes me squeamish, and I absolutely wasn't brave enough to watch the "Scissors Sequence" (I'm so totally not going to describe that; once again, Google is your friend...) though the audience reaction said plenty. There was a part towards the end where She was flashbacking to her initial period of going crazy (whilst writing the thesis) which also made me jump, though not as much as the bit with the fox.
I said afterwards that Antichrist has now been added to my list of Films I Never Need to See Again, which already includes The Descent and Trainspotting. This is not because they are bad films - quite the opposite - but just because they affected me so profoundly that I never need or want to experience them again. With The Descent, it just scared me too much to want to see again; with Trainspotting it was the part with the dead baby, which was an extreme, though perhaps accurate, depiction of why Drugs Are Bad. In retrospect, I think there are aspects of Antichrist which perhaps warrant a re-viewing, though possibly only one more. Most of it will remain firmly etched onto my brain, which in my present state of perpetual forgetfullness is probably a good thing, though I'd rather it were something more pleasant. :P
All that being said, I would recommend trying to see it at a cinema before it stops showing. Heed the warnings of the shock factor, though, and bear that in mind before you enter the showing. It definitely makes you think (there are plenty of theories out there about what it's meant to be about, though nothing definitive) and it will stay with you for a long time...
Small things have been irritating me this weekend. I have ordered a new printer from e-Buyer (£80 all in for the printer, USB cable and spare cartridges, plus £10 delivery charge), and did so on Friday night in the hope that next day delivery would result in getting it on Saturday. Obviously, they don't deliver on Saturdays except for an extra charge, and it wouldn't have been until this weekend. So it's arriving on Tuesday (note to self: remind Lisa so she is hopefully in), which is still okay because I ordered it so I could copy some CDs for my mum. Except then I forgot my bloody password, and the 'changed password' link they emailed me didn't work, so we had to set up an account in Paul's name to bloody order the thing. Thankfully there was no hassle with PayPal, and I didn't have to contend with the Lloyds TSB cardsafe thinger, which I've literally had to change the password on about sixteen times because I didn't remember which one I'd used. I think the first time it turned out that by 'Password', they meant 'Mother's Maiden Name', but I've had to change it so many times I've run out of memorable passwords - there are only three or four I use for most things. So anyway, that entire thing was aggravating.
Then I was generally annoyed by Cineworld being crap with their screening times and extortionate prices (and the fact that we wouldn't be able to see it off peak because they're only showing peak-time screenings).
THEN, on Sunday I got annoyed with the sewing machine, whilst trying to adjust Paul's new trousers. For starters, the bobbin clutch wheel is completely stuck closed, and I don't have a screwdriver with a narrow enough shaft to try and loosen the screw, which I think may help - though if not I have no other solution. Thankfully I then found a bobbin with black thread on it - though my other solution was to use my JML travel sewing machine just to create a bobbin - except I think it's different thread to my main reel, so I absolutely could not get the stitch tension right. In the end I gave up and tacked them by hand, but I'm going to buy some better quality black thread tonight, make a bobbin from scratch and try again. It's annoying because when I made my tie-backs the machine was working perfectly.
It seems the root cause of my annoyance is just Things Not Working, to be honest. Which is entirely understandable.
To top that off, this morning MS Word ate a memo I'd typed before I had a chance to save it, after I'd deleted the tape. Thankfully the file note was still intact. Bloody thing. I assume it was a temporary network fritz (as usual), but still annoying.
Reet then, nothing else to report. Hopefully we will be able to see Coco Before Chanel (preferably without morons in the cinema) before it ceases to show anywhere... Also hope to be back on track with sandwich-making for work this week, as we were very bad last week. We are also back on track with Real Food, as I made a beef bourgignon last night and we're having chilli tonight...