The evil Mr Trier

Cannes Film Festival

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe in “Antichrist,” a film directed by Lars von Trier and showing at the Cannes festival.CANNES, France — There’s no question that Lars von Trier knows how to get a rise out of the Cannes press — along with its rapt attention, its incredulous laughter and this year at least, its lusty jeers. The Danish middle-aged enfant terrible, who has been shaking up both the festival and world cinema for more than a decade with films like “Breaking the Waves” and “Dogville,” is clearly intent on holding on to his provocateur status, even if it means alienating (dividing, baffling) his audience further. This, in any event, seems one explanation for his latest, “Antichrist,” an alternately deadly serious and highly ironic exploration of psychosexual trauma, with Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a couple grieving the death of their only child.

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