The Antichrist cast and crew were present to field questions from the journalists. Director Lars von Trier was flanked by actors Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. All talked about their film experience. Selected highlights.
Lars von Trier on the justification for making this film:
"I don't think I have to excuse myself… You are all my guests. It's not the other way around… I work for myself, and I've made this little film that I'm now rather fond of. I don't do it for you or for an audience. So I don't think I owe anybody an explanation."
Lars von Trier on Tarkovsky, to whom "Antichrist" is dedicated:
"Tarkovsky, now, he's a real god. When I saw The Mirror for the first time on a small TV set, I was in ecstasy. If we talk about religion, this is a religious relationship. I've seen his films many, many times. I know he saw my very first film, and violently hated it, which I feel is an honest reaction. He's the generation before me. I feel related to him. I felt related to Bergman also – he didn't feel related to me… If you dedicate a film to a director, then nobody will say that you're stealing from him, so this was the easy way out."
Charlotte Gainsbourg on this experience:
"I think I was ready for anything. What was most difficult was not necessarily the scenes where there's sex, or where I'm in the nude. It was the scenes where there's a lot of emotion and suffering. Perhaps those were more difficult to handle. But there was no special preparation. One simply had to follow the guidance given by Lars… It was quite an experience, very intense. Not a lot of talking. Something that I won't live again that soon, and I knew that."
Willem Dafoe on working with Lars von Trier:
"A dream! Charlotte's right: we didn't talk a lot. It was just all doing. I enjoy his company. I enjoy his sense of humor. He's a great filmmaker… I'll tell you one thing real quick: he really doesn't allow any preparation or rehearsal before you shoot. You walk into a room, and you start shooting. Now, maybe that doesn't sound radical, but if you've got a ten-page dialogue scene, and he hasn't told you what the camera can do, or what you can do, or whether you should be naked or not… You basically make the scene on your feet, and then he reacts to it. There's only two actors, and you do that day after day, and you soon start to get very flexible, and very open to lots of impulses."
Lars von Trier on whether making the film was a therapy:
It's more the routine of making a film that is therapy: the routine of getting up every day, going to work… And that helps. I don't think that the subject – I don't think that could cure anybody. If you meant, to get rid of all these nasty things, I don't think so… I'm not trying to say any message. I have been much more clear and mathematical about other films, as logic has been a bigger part of it. This is more like a dream put into a film."
Lars von Trier on the disturbing scenes:
"Not to show it would be lying. This is a very dark dream about guilt and sex and stuff, and well, it came in naturally."