Yet, despite all of the extreme responses this film has received since its screening in France, I still really want to see it, and may even want to see it more now. Good or bad, it looks damn interesting. (Ebert said it may, in fact, be unendurable, but it's not a boring movie, and that's plenty good to me.) And even if director Lars von Trier is the most self-righteous man on the planet, he makes some courageous films that look astounding, here aided by longtime collaborator Anthony Dod Mantle, who just won the cinematography Oscar for "Slumdog Millionaire." (Trier's a little like Kanye West in this regard: makes some irresistible stuff, but I abhor the man himself.) I enjoyed what he said at the conference that followed a few days after the screening where he was heckled to justify his work. (Anne Thompson has more from the conference.) He said something to the effect of "You are all my guests...I don't have to justify myself..." or this little picture of his, which he called "a dream" and has on several occasions also called his form of therapy after a bout of depression, and this little picture is a piece of his mind and soul. He is not our guest, so he doesn't have to humor us.
While not every reaction has been pure hatred and disgust, I think the Spartan yelling match is going to deem the dissenters the winner for the time being. Its chances at wide domestic release and/or success are in jeopardy. But I think they'll come around. Eventually. I think.
Do bad reviews excite you?
IMAGE from: Slashfilm