I’m convinced that the primary inspiration for this Dante-esque writhing-in-the-forest scene, which is the first-anywhere-image from Lars von Trier‘s Antichrist, is the menacing-arms-protruding-from-the-wall scene in Roman Polanski‘s Repulsion. That plus any number of paintings inspired by Dante Alighieri ‘s The Divine Comedy, I mean. That’s Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg front and bottom-center in this still.
Antichrist, which will presumably premiere at the ’09 Cannes Film Festival, begins with a married couple (Dafoe, Gainsbourg) grieving over the death of their son. Dafoe’s character is a therapist; I don’t know what Gainsbourg’s character is defined by other than her feelings of woe about their lost child. They retreat to a cabin in the woods and eventually run into all sorts of horrific manifestations, which are at least partly based in their psychologies. Because Lars von Trier doesn’t do horror-for-horror’s-sake.